De-registered doctor working at SA hospital
A DOCTOR jailed for medical malpractice in the United Kingdom for putting patients at risk of contracting Hepatitis B is now working at an Eastern Cape hospital.
Congo-born Dr Daniel Mutunda, chief medical officer at Wilhelm Stahl Hospital in Middelburg, knowingly consulted patients while he had Hepatitis B, a potentially deadly disease.
He was jailed for 18 months by a UK court in April 2007.
The court found that Mutunda had asked a friend to provide a blood sample for him after a routine test showed that he had the virus.
He was jailed by the Hull Crown Court after admitting to having falsely claimed to be medically fit.
He was also suspended in 2004 after an investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC), but continued to work, securing employment through an agency.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It causes an infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) chief executive officer Dr Buyiswa Mjamba-Matshoba said that Mutunda had been re-registered with the HPCSA in July last year as a medicalpractitioner in the category Public Service.
"The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) verified Dr Mutunda's qualification, transcripts as well as the Certificate of Standing-Status issued in November 2010 by the regulatory body in the DRC," Mjamba- Matshoba said.
She said the HPCSA re-registered Mutunda after receiving this verification by the ECFMG.
"A Certificate of Standing-Status issued by the foreign registration authority where the applicant is currently registered indicates whether the practitioner is in good standing with that regulatory body or not.
"We have not received correspondence from our sister body in the UK regarding his striking off the register in the UK," she said.
This was denied by UK-based GMC spokesperson Bree Sutton, who said the HPCSA had been told about Mutunda's case.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that Mutunda worked at Willem Staal, but said they also had not been aware of his criminal conviction or his medical condition.
"It is not mandatory for a doctor to disclose his medical record when applying for a job," Kupelo said.
He said that after further consultations, no action would be taken against Mutunda because the offences for which he had been jailed in the UK were not offences in South Africa.