Council, KCH question Bingu’s doctor conduct

The Medical Council of Malawi and Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) have questioned the conduct of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s doctor during the illness that led to his death.

 

The late Mutharika was first taken to KCH and the referral is crying foul at the missing of his file from the hospital and is accusing Mutharika’s doctor, Dan Namarika, of removing it from the hospital.

The file has Mutharika’s details during admission and departure from the hospital.

KCH director Dr. Noorden Alide also said on Monday the fact that Mutharika’s file is not at the hospital but with his personal doctor puts the hospital in an awkward position should they be required to give testimony on the late President’s death.

“The late President’s details are missing at our hospital. The file is with Dr. Namarika. The file is property of the Kamuzu Central Hospital because the patient was referred here. We also keep confidential reports. We keep files in the archive and this file is not there. Dr Namarika is employed by State House and was not supposed to take the file. Without the file, how can we testify anywhere about the President’s death?” said Alide, sounding helpless on the matter.

He said as director of the hospital, he was not informed of Mutharika’s referral to the hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

He bemoaned the conduct of Namarika, saying it has shown the vulnerability of hospitals.

“This is now questioning our practice. We have to revisit the practice of allowing somebody to help us and use our staff and then pick the file. Due to shortage of personnel, we allow people to help us and we become vulnerable,” said Alide who added that Namarika also sees patients at KCH.

The Medical Council of Malawi registrar Abel Kawonga also blamed Namarika for not informing KCH in advance that he was taking the late Mutharika to the hospital.

“From the Medical Council of Malawi point of view, it [Bingu’s illness] was not handled professionally. He [the personal doctor] did not behave professionally. He did not conduct himself well because he was supposed to do the formalities. He was supposed to phone the hospital about their coming so that the hospital should make the necessary preparations,” said Kawonga on Monday in an interview.

Kawonga said the council cannot do anything on “the unprofessional manner” in which the late President’s illness was handled unless they receive a complaint from any concerned citizen.

“I do not know if we are supposed to act yet. I need to consult my board. But if we received a complaint or as you are calling, if this were a complaint, we were going to act on the matter,” Kawonga said.

Mutharika suffered a cardiac arrest on April 5 while at the State House and was referred to KCH where officials say he arrived already dead. He was referred to the Intensive Care Unit.

When called on Monday for a comment, Dr. Namarika simply cut the line.

Mutharika died of cardiac arrest on April 5 at State House, but the Office of the President and Cabinet said he died upon arrival at One Military Hospital in South Africa on the same day he collapsed.

Three dates came up for Mutharika’s death, April 5, April 6 and April 7, but OPC and KCH clarified that the right date is April 5. Mutharika was buried on April 23, 2012 at his Ndata Farm.

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