Specialist Doctor Charged With Misconduct For Saving A Life At The Wrong Time.
26 October 2019
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State Media|A specialist neurosurgeon and senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) who administered anaesthesia to a patient whose life was at risk, has taken Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals to the High Court for instituting disciplinary proceedings.

Parirenyatwa Hospital accused Aaron Musara of misconduct, saying he acted in an unprocedural and inappropriate manner.

Musara is seeking a High Court order declaring that Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and its acting clinical director, Aspect Jacob Maunganidze, have no disciplinary powers over him.

He also wants a memo in his file dated August 2, 2019 to be declared null and void.

“The habitual suspension and cancellation of surgical operations by Parirenyatwa between 1pm and 4pm to be declared unconstitutional,” read the draft order.

“Respondent shall take all necessary steps and measures to avoid absurd cancellation of surgical operations booked for each day.

“Parirenyatwa Hospital to furnish the applicant with a copy of its Standard Operating Procedures within seven days of the order.”

Musara is a senior lecturer in the UZ’s Neurosurgery Unit, Department of Surgery in College of Health Sciences, which is based at Parirenyatwa.

“The internal medicine and outpatient clinics of the hospital are inter alia, staffed by UZ’s lecturers and students studying for master’s degrees in medicine,” read the application.

“I have access to the hospital’s patients and medical facilities and entitled to conduct surgical operations upon the hospital’s willing patients using its facilities.”

Musara says on June 4 this year, his team attended to Shadreck Musekiwa, who needed urgent laminectomy decompression of the spine and a team decided to operate him the same day.

The patient was at risk of losing his life, the hospitals anaesthetic team refused to anaesthetise the patient citing other urgent cases.

The operation was scheduled for the following day.

“Unfortunately, the doctor who was anaesthetising patients on this day refused to put Musekiwa to sleep citing that he and his team wanted to go for lectures,” said Musara.

“The operation was cancelled. I took the bold decision to administer general anaesthesia upon the patient. The operation was carried out successfully and the patient recovered well.”

Resultantly, Musara was accused of misconduct.

“I was served with a letter on August 8, where Maunganidze ruled that I acted unprocedurally and inappropriately. The communication was to be kept in my personal file for future reference,” said Musara.

The letter mars my disciplinary record, say Musara.

“I am not employed by the hospital. Thus, the hospital or Maunganidze do not have jurisdiction to conduct any disciplinary action against me or to pronounce any penalty against me,” he says.

“Surgeons are not completely prohibited from administering general anaesthesia upon patients at the hospital in casu. Any practitioner can administer anaesthesia where it would be a life saving measure.”