‘Rogue’ doctor probed
Maseru – The ministry of health has launched a probe into allegations of gross medical malpractices against a senior doctor at Mafeteng district hospital. Public Eye reported on the case a couple of weeks back citing details of alleged misconduct, including several cases of botched surgical operations by the doctor in question.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, told Public Eye this week that the ministry has now began internal investigations into the doctor’s alleged misconduct and his work in general. “Investigations are ongoing and the ministry has assigned someone to Mafeteng District Hospital to oversee his work.” Meanwhile is still conducting his duties as normal. Mosebekoa added that the Health Director General, Dr ’Nyane Letsie, will soon inform the public about the findings once investigations are complete.
Dr Igor, who is practicing at Mafeteng District Hospital, faces accusations of gross medical negligence and incompetence by several patients on whom he performed surgeries. Dr Igor is a gynecology specialist who has worked in the Mohale’s Hoek and Mafeteng district hospitals. The management has acknowledged that indeed they discovered that some patients who were attended to by the doctor spent longer time than usual at the hospital, while others returned for readmission because after developing some complications.
In one interview a doctor who has worked with Dr Igor for more than two years while he was serving in both the Mohale’s Hoek and Mafeteng district hospitals shared his experiences confirming unusual practices but was quick to point out that he does not like to form an opinion on other doctors or nurses in their professional capacity. “…but I can tell you one thing, he is always in a hurry. He does not take his time while operating, if you try to make him aware of something during the operation he becomes irritated,” the doctor said.
Asked what could be prompting such a reaction the doctor said: “I do not know, but I made my own analysis that he is not a team player.” “To do myomectomy operation takes about two to four hours depending on the size and number of fibroids. The least it could take is an hour, but he would take about 15 minutes. His patients would be at the hospital for long or come back shortly after being discharged,” the doctor continued, adding that as colleagues they used to question Igor’s work among themselves.
“He does a lot of questionable mistakes because he does not properly follow the procedure. He does not give explanation to his patients or to those responsible to them and it is also not easy to read his medical report,” the doctor added. Patients who spoke to Public Eye related their heartbreaking experiences with Dr Igor on their visit to Mafeteng District Hospital for medical assistance. One patient escaped from Dr Igor’s hands through her sister who was already privy to some ‘scary’ instances about his surgical errors. Some of these patients are in the process of lodging a legal fight against the ministry of health.
Yesterday one of the alleged victims who we said lost her uterus in a mishap at the hands of Dr Igor said health authorities said they would never allow anyone to access the said doctor’s file, even if they bring their lawyers. The woman said she went to the hospital this year on Friday February 25 when she was seven months pregnant, and she felt something like labour pains. She was then checked by Dr Igor. To her surprise, Dr Igor did not check the baby’s heartbeat; he only performed the vaginal examination and told her to go and take the prescribed medication.
She said Dr Igor did not say anything to her and released her to go home. Before she left the hospital she took her medication and hired a taxi to home. “It was amoxicillin and flagella pills. I had not even spent an hour at home when I began to bleed. I went back to the hospital. It was a heavy flow bleeding. “On my arrival for the second time, I was attended to by Basotho doctors and later Dr Igor arrived,” said the woman. “When he saw me he said I could have died if I did not rush back to hospital.”
“How did you feel when he said so?” Public Eye asked. “I was shocked and filled with anger because I was there not long before the incident.” “I was then taken to theater, Dr Igor was the one who did the operation and I had a stillborn birth. He called my husband in to see me as I was operated. He then showed him the uterus and explained to him that it was too weak and had to be removed,” the woman explained.
She added: “My husband told them that he does not know anything medically, so he would take his advice…he gave them the go ahead.” Subsequent to this occasion, the couple said nothing was explained to them. Her husband then reported the matter to the hospital management but the manager said he could not do anything because Dr Igor is senior to them professionally.
Some of our sources, who were friends with Dr Igor on facebook, said he has since deactivated his account which bore his contact details.