'Doc was unaware of new rules'

THE Mpumalanga department of health has come to the defence of a doctor in Tonga who refused to give antiretrovirals to foreign nationals because they did not have South African IDs.

THE Mpumalanga department of health has come to the defence of a doctor in Tonga who refused to give antiretrovirals to foreign nationals because they did not have South African IDs.

The department pleaded for the doctor to be given a chance since his failure to serve the public was unintentional.

Department spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said the doctor was not aware of the new health guidelines, which require a patient to supply his or her traceable address in order to get treatment.

He said the department had contacted the doctor to tell him about the new guidelines.

"The doctor had not refused to treat foreigners because he had a vendetta against them," Gabashane said.

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