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Kidneygate doctors ‘neglected’ patients

Crime & Courts

Durban - Netcare doctors charged with illegally harvesting kidneys from impoverished Brazilian patients neglected the donors, according to documents submitted to the Durban High Court, City Press reported on Sunday.

The kidneys were allegedly harvested between 2001 and 2003

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310111 IN THE DOCK: Prof John Robbs, Dr Mahadev Naidoo and Prof Ariff Haffejee appeared in the specialised commercial crime court in Durban yesterday. Picture: S’bu Ndlovu PICTURE: SBU NDLOVU

without performing proper medical and psychological tests.

An internal audit of the overseas transplant programme showed only 10 of 104 foreign donors in Durban had medical evaluation reports.

Only two donors had psychological evaluation reports.

None had submitted required letters of acceptance, City Press reported.

Surgeons John Robbs, Ariff Haffejee, Neil Christopher, and Mahadev Naidoo, who performed the transplants at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban, have claimed malicious and selective prosecution.

They say doctors who performed illegal transplants for the Netcare hospital group in Cape Town and Johannesburg have not yet been charged.

Former transplant unit staffers Lindy Dickson and Melanie Azor made the same claims in a separate application, reported the weekly.

They argue that the state delayed the case for eight years and that Netcare misled transplant teams into believing all was above board.

Netcare paid a R7 million fine for admitting its guilt in the scam, which sold kidneys to wealthy Israeli patients.

The prosecution claims all participants were aware of what was going on. - Sapa

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