Foreign doctors: Solanki off the hook

Source: Foreign doctors: Solanki off the hook | The Herald May 17, 2017

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
Trauma Centre, a local private medical institution, has been cleared of allegations of allowing foreign medical doctors to practise in the country without registration, following thorough investigations by Government.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Mr Aldrin Musiiwa said in an interview yesterday that following a dispute between the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) and Dr Vivek Solanki, who owns Trauma Centre, Government noted that both parties had not done anything wrong.

“When we looked into the issue, we realised that both parties were right,” he said. “We noted that it was within Dr Solanki’s right to bring foreign doctors into the country for his patients in an emergency situation without going through the local registration. “On the other hand, it was also within MDPCZ’s right to carry out an inspection where there was suspicion of someone breaking the law.”

Mr Musiiwa said following this assessment, a conclusion was reached that both parties had not committed any offence. “The issue has now been resolved since no one committed any offence,” said Dr Musiiwa.

The tiff between Trauma Centre and MDPCZ started sometime in March when the medical practitioners control body caused the arrest of three Indian doctors at Trauma Centre on allegations of practising without local registration.

Allegations against Dr Solanki emanated from WhatsApp messages where he was inviting other medical practitioners to bring in their patients to Trauma Centre for free consultations by the visiting doctors.

Acting on a tip-off, the MDPCZ, through its registrar Mrs Josephine Mwakutuya, accompanied by other officials from the council and the police, went to physically inspect Trauma Centre.

On arrival, the team found two Indian doctors and a local specialist, Dr Brian Paketh, consulting a female patient. This resulted in the immediate arrest of the two doctors and their subsequent appearance at the courts.

The court case was dismissed on the basis that a local doctor was allowed to invite a foreign doctor to assist his patients. But MDPCZ insisted that the doctors had violated provisions of the Health Professions Act, which prohibits any person to practise medicine without local registration.

Dr Solanki argued that the doctors were in the country for continued professional development activities.