The DA yesterday called on Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to instruct her KwaZulu-Natal counterpart to reinstate Dr Colin Pfaff - as a matter of urgency.
Pfaff was suspended last week from Manguzi Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal after being charged with misconduct - for providing dual therapy for HIV-positive pregnant mothers - in contravention of national policy, the DA said.
Since August last year, Manguzi Hospital has been providing dual therapy, using funds donated by a UK-based NGO directly to the Manguzi Mission.
By December last year they had rolled out dual therapy to all 10 clinics covered by the hospital.
By this stage, 88percent of pregnant women with high CD4 counts were being given dual therapy of AZT and Nevirapine, as opposed to the national policy of Nevirapine alone, the DA said.
A new policy on dual therapy was ironically finally adopted - after an inexplicable four-year delay - by the National Aids Council just one week before Pfaff was suspended. No actual paperwork has been circulated as yet, and as such the new policy is not yet officially in effect.
This bureaucratic bungle led to Pfaff's suspension, the DA said.
The suspension inevitably conjured up images of the suspension of Thys von Mollendorf.
Mollendorf was fired as superintendent of Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mpumalanga in 2001 for allowing an NGO to provide HIV-prevention drugs to rape survivors, in contravention of national policy at the time, the DA said.
"For the sake of all the patients at the Manguzi Hospital, Dr Pfaff must be reinstated," the party said. - Sapa