Indian-origin doctor in South Africa cleared

Durban, May 16 (IANS) A South African medical body found an Indian-origin doctor not guilty of misdiagnosing after a suspected heart attack patient died the day he was discharged from a Durban hospital in 2008.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) also cleared Soojatha Hariprasad of Netcare Umhlanaga Hospital of charges of failing to take a complete history of the patient, failure to admit him for further observation and failure to keep adequate clinical notes, the Independent Online reported Thursday.

Hariprasad appeared before the HPCSA committee after Pamela Parmanand, the wife of the patient, Ravine Parmanand, complained of negligence on the part of the doctor who had checked on her husband.

Ravine, 40, collapsed and died a few hours after he had left the hospital Nov 2, 2008, following the doctor’s assessment that he was fine.

Pamela is also suing Hariprasad and the hospital for three million rands in a separate claim for damages.

In an earlier hearing of the committee, a nurse in the hospital had deposed: “The patient complained of chest pains, and he was given anti-inflammatory medication. When he was discharged, he was advised to see a cardiologist.”

Andrew Geard, another doctor of the hospital who testified as a medical expert, also said that Hariprasad had done everything she could for the patient.

“She did the electrocardiogram test which was normal. She did blood tests, she did everything to exclude myocardial pain,” he said

“There was nothing to suggest the patient must be admitted. I express my condolences (to Parmanand’s family) but Hariparsad was not negligent.”

After the ruling, Hariprasad expressed sympathy to the Parmanand family but said she was glad that the whole issue was over.

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