SA radiologist suspended

2009-05-27 09:15
Johannesburg - A South African radiologist who worked for the State for several years and at one stage was professor of radiology at Medunsa, is in trouble in Canada, where there are questions about his ability to correctly read scans.

Dr Darius Tsatsi, 52, was suspended from the Yorkton Centre for District Health Services in Saskatchewan after it was apparently established at a peer evaluation that his readings of scans differed from other radiologists, and that he had perhaps made diagnostic errors.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskathewan said in a statement that it had reviewed 103 scans that Tsatsi had done last year. Their interpretation of the scans differed from his on too many occasions.

The amount of times where diagnostic errors could have "disastrous" consequences for patients was "worryingly" high, said the college. There were at least five cases where patients ran the risk of suffering damage, it was reported from Canada.

Review

A committee was appointed to hold a hearing to establish whether Tsatsi's skills are satisfactory.

The result was that Tsatsi's benefits at the Yorkton Centre had been suspended since May 14 pending the outcome of the investigation.

Tsatsi's interpretation of at least 70 000 scans since 2004 would also be reviewed.

A toll-free number has been set up for worried patients.

According to the college, shortcomings in Tsatsi's skills had been detected during a routine check of his work in 2006. There was concern over his ability to spot abnormalities on scans.

The college's council suspected that Tsatsi perhaps did not have "sufficient skills and knowledge" to do his work, and wanted to subject him then already to a "competency hearing".

Refresher course

Tsatsi undertook via his lawyer to do refresher courses and managed to avoid the hearing, it is alleged.

He completed a refresher course at the McMaster University, but the college was still not satisfied and 103 scans were re-evaluated.

It would appear that Tsatsi moved to Canada in 2004. He qualified as a radiologist at the University of Cape Town in 1976, says his Facebook profile.

Beeld has also established that early in 2004, he was the head of radiology at Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa, as well as a professor at Medunsa.

Tsatsi was on the editorial committee of the South African Radiology Journal and worked at a private hospital in Mafikeng.

Bertha Scheepers of the Health Professions Council for South Africa said they had no records of any complaints against Tsatsi.

A local health authority in Canada said the qualifications and testimonials with which Tsatsi had arrived in the country were "impeccable".
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