Medical body backs suspended anaesthetist who worked alongside Dr Peter Beale

SASA confirmed to News24 that it was supporting Dr Peter Beale's colleague Dr Abdulhay Munshi. (iStock)
SASA confirmed to News24 that it was supporting Dr Peter Beale's colleague Dr Abdulhay Munshi. (iStock)

The South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) have declared their support for one of their members suspended by Netcare last week following the death of a young boy at the group's Park Lane Clinic.

Earlier this month, two doctors, Dr Peter Beale and anaesthetist Dr Abdulhay Munshi, were suspended pending an investigation by Netcare after 10-year-old Zayyaan Sayed died following a routine procedure. 

In a member communique which News24 has seen, SASA said it backed their suspended member during the investigation. 

"The SASA member most closely involved in this incident has been receiving, and continues to receive, support from SASA. The society is supporting him as the incident is investigated and managed."

The doctor was not named, but SASA later confirmed to News24 that it was in fact Munshi. 

The Society said in the communique it was aware of the death and "the impact this has had on the patient’s family, on the doctors who attended the child and of the larger team involved in his care".

While SASA extended their "heartfelt sympathy" to the family, it said the situation was complex, raising concerns over the suspension.

"This particular death has complex clinical and profession associations. These make interaction, investigation and investigation difficult and sensitive.

"There are significant concerns with respect to potential regulatory failures, precedent with respect to unilateral suspension of clinical practice; and trial by media prior to appropriate investigation."

It added that "SASA fully supports transparency, fairness and prioritising patient safety".

The society also speculated that "system failures" could have played a role.

"The society also supports a thorough interrogation of all system failures that could have played a part in this event."

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