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Ex-Health minister to compensate patient


FORMER Health deputy minister, Edwin Muguti, has been ordered to pay R252 546 and $28 000 compensation to one of his patients, Patricia Singizi, following a botched medical procedure which resulted in a cut on her bile duct and right hepatic artery, three years ago.


Sometime in 2016, Singizi and her husband, Samuel, sued Muguti for acting negligently, causing her to suffer several medical complications after the initial ‘botched’ operation.

The couple cited Muguti, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, and Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) as respondents.

On November 23 this year, High Court judge Justice Phildah Muzofa ruled in the couple’s favour saying Muguti’s negligence had caused the couple to lose thousands of dollars in an attempt to rectify his mistake.

“Third defendant (Muguti) is hereby ordered to pay to the plaintiffs (Singizis) the sum of R252 546 being compensation for all expenses incurred and to be incurred by the first and second plaintiffs (Patricia and Samuel) as a result of third defendant’s negligence…third defendant is ordered to pay to the plaintiffs $1 200 for travelling expenses to and from South Africa (SA) and $630 for future travelling expenses for first plaintiff (Patricia)…$20 000 for pain and suffering, $6 000 for loss of earning for both plaintiffs,” Justice Muzofa said.

“The first plaintiff said she felt pain and still has pain in her abdomen. Dr Lebos (SA surgeon) said her bile duct was cut and the right hepatic artery was damaged.
Also she suffered loss of the right lobe of the liver …she would need further medical management in a specialised unit for life. Clearly the first plaintiff would live with pain for life as a direct result of the third defendant’s negligence,” she said.

According to the judgment, on September 14, 2015 Patricia was admitted to Ward B8 at Parirenyatwa Hospital where she was diagnosed with chronic cholecystitis due to gallstones. The court heard she had abdominal pain for three months and Muguti, with the assistance of other medical personnel, conducted an operation called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy on her.

Thereafter she was discharged from the hospital, but a week later she returned due to abdominal swelling. The court heard that she was attended to and diagnosis was that she had a bile leak and was told by Muguti that the hospital had no facility to remedy the condition and could only get assistance in South Africa.

“Pending transfer she was given a prescription to buy a drug known as octreotide which cost R2 500, she did buy the drug. In this case the first plaintiff said in South Africa she was attended to by Doctor N R Ziady and was charged R3 624 and such invoice was produced. The full amount is granted. She was further referred for diagnosis at Radiological Services Inc where she paid R8 130, the invoices were attached, and the claim is granted,” the judge said.

“The diagnosis led to her referral to a specialist surgeon Doctor Lebos who operated her at a cost of R194 391…Doctor Lebo compiled a report to the effect that the operation by the third defendant was the direct cause of the complications the plaintiff suffered. His opinion was that the corrective measure to prescribe the drug was absurd and a waste of money. He said she will require further management every three to six months.”

Justice Muzofa said Patricia’s demand for additional R12 000 for future medical expenses and R12 600 for future accommodation and meals and transport in South Africa was justified.

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