Cabinet lashes out at Netcare

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretoria - Cabinet has called on the health care industry to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the illegal surgeries whereby human kidneys are illegally acquired and transplanted, never happens again.

Briefing the media on Thursday, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said Cabinet was outraged by the conduct of both the St Augustines Hospital and the doctors who were implicated in the scam.

He said this act raised ethical issues regarding the doctors who were involved.

This week, Netcare KwaZulu admitted that just over 100 illegal kidney transplant operations had been done at its St Augustines Hospital in Durban.

The medical company pleaded guilty to the charges, which include illegally acquiring the organs and unlawfully performing kidney transplants.

Calling the act an "inhuman ritual", Maseko said government will not allow the country to become a haven for syndicates who traffic in human parts.

"The law enforcement agencies must do all they can to ensure that all those who are implicated in the scam face the full might of the law."

The company was sentenced in the Durban Regional Court to a fine and confiscations totalling R7 820 000, which includes a accumulative fine of R4 million, a confiscation order of R3.8 million after the court was advised that the accused company had derived benefits to this amount and further fines totalling R20 000 for at least ten counts under charges 1 and 2.

Maseko said Cabinet welcomed the court decision.