Voiceless while Doc keeps his job

SPEECHLESS: Peggy Meiring. © Unknown
SPEECHLESS: Peggy Meiring. © Unknown

Two years after performing the botched operation that left a Mpumalanga woman unable to speak, the doctor is still working at the hospital.

Two years after performing the botched operation that left a Mpumalanga woman unable to speak, the doctor is still working at the hospital.

Last week, Sowetan reported that Peggy Meiring went to have a thyroid glands removed and that a doctor then only known as Mario accidentally removed her vocal cords. Meiring was given R600000 compensation by the health department last week.

She was award a R500000 court settlement but the department took more than seven months to pay. She was then paid R600000, which included interest.

Thyroid glands are the glands that control human metabolism.

Today we can reveal that the doctor's full name is Mario Calzadilla, a Cuban national who has been practising as a surgeon at the Witbank Hospital for 11 years.

He takes home a salary of R454400 per year.

Asked why Calzadilla was still working at the hospital, the provincial health department said it had been waiting for the civil case to be completed before taking any action against Calzadilla.

Department spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said: "Now that the matter has been settled, we are going to evaluate the circumstances around the case.

"The process will include the whole team that operated on the patient, the evaluation of the infrastructure and we will bring in experts to assist in this regard."

He said the course of action will be determined on the basis of the report drawn up by a team of experts.

The health profession watchdog, Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), is also investigating Calzadilla for negligence.

Bertha Peters-Scheepers, HPCSA's senior manager on public relations and service delivery, said: "I can confirm that we are investigating his conduct and we will take harsh action if we find that he was wrong in any way."

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