The sad passing of 10-year-old Zayyaan Sayed shortly after an operation performed by paediatric surgeon Dr Peter Beale and anaesthetist Dr Abdulhay Munshi has resulted in widespread public concern around the accountability of surgeons in South African hospitals. Spokesperson for the Sayed family, Sinenhlanhla Mnguni has indicated that the family is now looking for both doctors to be suspended pending an investigation into their fitness to practice medicine.
“The incident was brought to the attention of the HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa)…The doctor [Beale] seems to have been in malpractice for a number of years and no one has been able to hold him to account. It’s taken the tragic passing of the Sayed family’s son for this to be brought into the public light. He’s been suspended, fined and all sorts of other punitive measures have been levied against him, yet he continues to practice to this day.
Unfortunately, children seem to be tragically passing away at his hands,” said Mnguni.
“In terms of the HPCSA and the various hospital groups, its very concerning that there doesn’t seem to be a measure of accountability between them and the various practitioners.”
Mnguni says that although the passing of the young Zayyaan Sayed is tragic, his death will not be in vain.
“Zayyaan’s passing, as his parents would want it to be, will not be in vain. It will highlight an issue a number of parents are falling victim to at our hospitals as a result of medical practitioners not being held accountable by the bodies they fall under,” he said.
“Other parents have come forward and as a group they are all united to ensure these practitioners are prevented from conducting any further procedures.”
Mnguni added that to his knowledge, and disapproval, Beale has appointed legal representation who have advised the doctor not to engage with the media.
This is not the first time Dr Beale has come under scrutiny, as mentioned above by Mnguni. According to reports by News24, a woman by the name of Lisa Strydom lost her one-year-old child after the same procedure performed on Zayyaan was performed on her child by the surgeon.
Dr Beale’s lawyer recently told News24 that “Professor Beale would like to assure patients that he has always consistently striven to maintain the reasonable standards expected of him as a paediatric surgeon in his medical management of patients and shall continue to do so going forward.”