Bogus neurosurgeon 'fooled system'

2012-01-19 16:19

Pretoria - The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has blamed itself for allowing a bogus neurosurgeon to practise at South African hospitals.

Qualified general practitioner Nyunyi Wambuyi Katumba did not meet the requirements for registration as a neurosurgeon, but was registered with the council, HPCSA president Sam Mokgokong told reporters in Pretoria.

"We are taking the blame on this one. The error lies within us. Dr Katumba cheated on our system," Mokgokong said.

"He initially applied in 2003 to be certified as a neurosurgeon in this country. He sat for the South African college examinations with other doctors and he failed."

Katumba, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, worked in South Africa as a specialist from June 2007.

Mokgokong said false information was submitted to the council in 2007, stating that Katumba had passed the necessary examinations.

He was subsequently registered in public service neurosurgery.

After serving for three years in the public service, and after obtaining South African permanent residence status, Katumba was registered as a specialist independent practice on July 9 last year.

He previously worked in Botswana and Zimbabwe and was fired in both countries.

In South Africa, he worked at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto and the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

He was fired from both institutions because of incompetence.

"This man was practising in the country after being registered. He had the required certificates to practise that we had given him," said Mokgokong.

Investigations were underway to determine who supplied the false information on behalf of Katumba.

Mokgokong confirmed that Katumba was a qualified doctor who had worked in the DRC.

No criminal charges had been laid against him, said HPCSA acting registrar Kgosi Letlape.

"We cannot be the ones running to the police and saying we registered this man while we were not supposed to have done so.

"He was practising in the country with the documents we gave him."

Katumba had been de-registered and the council was tightening up its systems to introduce double-checking, Mokgokong said.

Two former staff members had been implicated so far.

Qualifications of foreign qualified practitioners employed in the last 10 years would now be verified.

South Africa employs 400 foreign qualified general practitioners and 500 specialist doctors annually.

  • barry.mcbride - 2012-01-19 16:39

    So did this dumb GP perform operations on brains & spines then?

      Kala - 2012-01-19 17:02

      Yes but mostly on our current politicians. The antics of the current government is a dead giveaway

      Sharon - 2012-01-19 17:28

      @ Kala - Lobotomies, Maybe?

      Kala - 2012-01-19 17:33

      Sharon - More like a complete removal of the entire brain.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-19 17:41

      My question is how many more "qualified" guys are operating out there -literally and figuratively?

      Smell - 2012-01-20 06:23

      If the "neurosurgeon" comes from a previously disadvantaged community, could a case perhaps be made that he deserved his "promotion". This all seems totally congruent with what has been happening in South Africa for a while now.

      Schmee - 2012-01-20 09:50

      LOL Kala brilliant comment. And Squeegee considering how many dumb politicians we have, there is no way one guy could have operated on all of them.

  • nadia.chotu - 2012-01-19 16:42

    Oh how big of you to accept responsibility for your incompetance! .... as if to say that is a panacea! it's only thousands of people that you and your department had put at risk!!!

      Kala - 2012-01-19 17:01

      Now wouldn't it be nice of them to resign from their posts and hand it over to more competent individuals

      clivecorbz - 2012-01-19 17:01

      Pass blame, people complain. Take responsibility, people complain... Complain about what happened, not that they took responsibility for it.

      Adam - 2012-01-19 19:03

      No grave concern, he was working within a vacuum

  • Xenswim1 - 2012-01-19 16:44

    why am I not surprised that there was some crookery.

  • spartanx93 - 2012-01-19 16:48

    must of work on juju's & zoooooma brains....

  • Andre - 2012-01-19 16:49

    I shudder to think how many more bogus "doctors" are in circulation!

  • Wayne - 2012-01-19 16:49

    So who is gong to get fired for this?

  • Amien - 2012-01-19 16:49

    Eish welcome to darkest africa

      Bianca-Anne - 2012-01-19 19:21

      Eish even the white Doctors that have degree's is negligent or does that not count ...

  • wilma.botts - 2012-01-19 16:49

    And this is what our ill people have to put up with.....SHAME on you

  • Gilad - 2012-01-19 16:53

    how many lives did this monster ruin? proper surgeons could have helped people and he conned them and maybe damaged or killed them

  • Tilly - 2012-01-19 17:08

    Not to worry, most of the "new professionals" are bogus anyway. This is SA right? The land of plenty for the scum, the top professions for the bums and our Government for "parties and rum"

  • Japie Marais - 2012-01-19 17:13

    Prof Mokgokong is the HOD at SBAH that employed the doctor after he was fired at Bara! He must now decide if doctors acted ethically. Huh!

      Zeb - 2012-01-19 18:05

      Hau! I thought you asked me to act ethnically ? Eish!

  • Zion - 2012-01-19 17:14

    Charges should be made against those that seconded this dud. While this is only a single case, how many are still hiding in the woodwork.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-19 17:36

    Every person whom this quack operated on must sue government! God grief-working with the mechanics of the brain is serious stuff! I wonder how many others there are out there? After all they have lowered the education pass who knows! Scary thought!

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-19 17:41

    Deport him at least.

  • Assis - 2012-01-19 17:44

    I understand the worries, as the people running the HPCSA have no brains so neurosurgeons could never do any damage there.

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-19 21:33

      Like that spot on.

  • Bra - 2012-01-19 18:43

    i wonder hw many pple he hd killed to deserve ths...sad story

  • Bianca-Anne - 2012-01-19 19:20

    I know a fully qualified Private Specialist Doctor in Kimberley that have all the qualifications and degrees, proven, and yet when he KILLS people no one really cares - I think because he is white or maybe because he can or for whatever reasons. I think the whole Health System including the QUALIFIED PRIVATE MEDIC CLINIC DOCTORS should be investigated. But don't listen to me, it is only the rumblings of a Daughter that is left without a Mother ... who really cares about that ... that is not a point to point finger at the Government therefore no one cares.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-19 19:49

      Bianca, sorry but did this guy operate on you?

  • selvan.pillay2 - 2012-01-19 19:27

    He did not have the brains to be a neurosurgeon but was allowed to operate on peoples brains.Why are we surprised when we have incompetent idiots running the HPCSA.God help us when the NHI is implemented.

  • Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-19 21:31

    Wonderful, no one is held accountable how convienant. Wonder who was given a handshake to give him his papers to work as a specialist in S.A.? Just another example of deceit, so prevelant in most departments in this country.

  • frans.grobler3 - 2012-01-20 07:49

    Remember doctors burry there mistakes.

  • ailsa.j.loudon - 2012-01-20 16:08

    How many did he kill?

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