Chris Ndaliso
Senior journalist
2 minute read
11 Nov 2010
00:00

Netcare: union wants harsher action

Chris Ndaliso

THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has called for harsher action against Netcare over illegal organ transplants and is disturbed that criminal charges against it have been dropped....

THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has called for harsher action against Netcare over illegal organ transplants and is disturbed that criminal charges against it have been dropped.

Nehawu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the union is appalled by the latest revelations that Netcare KZN has been performing illegal kidney transplants. “This is an abortion of justice and it shows that our justice system is like a toothless puppy against those with money …

“This action is sending the wrong message, that as long as you can pay you can get away with the most atrocious acts in our country,” he said in a statement.

Netcare’s “immoral and criminal” behaviour shows that the private health company’s primary concern is how much money it can make from the plight of the sick and poor people.

Pamla added: “The revelations about the shenanigans of Netcare are a grim reminder of how brutal and immoral the capitalists [are] who, if left unchallenged, will decapitate poor people to make profits.”

KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas said Netcare got off lightly given the magnitude of the crimes committed, adding that justice was not done for the victims.

However, this assertion was disputed by specially appointed state prosecutor Advocate Robin Palmer. He said that of the R22 million generated throughout the years by the illegal procedures, Netcare had charged its normal surgery rates.

“Of that amount the company has accumulated about R2, 5 million at the most, with the rest being used by the Israeli broker, Ilan Perry, to pay the donors, travelling costs, accommodation etc. This means that Netcare has lost more than what it received for its services,” said Palmer.

KZN Organ Donor Foundation project manager Alison Reddi said that this year alone there is a list of 3 500 people waiting for organ donations of kidneys, hearts, lungs and livers. Reddi said some of these people have been waiting for several years.