Boycott United Arab Emirates, health professionals told

2013-01-23 13:44

The SA Medical Association has once again urged local health professionals to boycott employment opportunities arising from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This after a case of manslaughter against a South African doctor, Professor Cyril Karabus, was postponed in the UAE 15 times.

Karabus, a veteran paediatric haematologist from Cape Town, was arrested while in transit through Abu Dhabi in August last year.

He was arrested in connection with the death of a girl he had treated in 2002 who had leukaemia.

Karabus, who is out on bail but prohibited from leaving the UAE, was tried, convicted and sentenced to four years in jail in absentia in 2003 and apparently was not aware of it until his arrest.

Urging health professionals to stop applying for jobs in the UAE, Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, chairperson of the SA Medical Association, said: “This is for your own safety. We advise South African doctors and other health professionals to avoid working in the UAE. We ask that those already there to consider withdrawing their services in the interest of their own safety.”

The department of international relations and cooperation has been assisting Karabus to ensure that he gets a fair trial.

A week ago, Deputy Minister Marius Fransman visited his family.

According to the department’s spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, the department “has rendered extensive consular assistance to Professor Karabus and his family since August 2012”.

“Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has even written a letter to her UAE counterpart requesting that the UAE authorities deal with the case in an expeditious and fair manner as it is placing strain on the existing good relations between South Africa and the UAE in the field of medical cooperation,” he said in a statement.

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