By Gilbert Nyambabvu
BIRMINGHAM: A Zimbabwe-trained doctor’s bid to resume practice in the United Kingdom (UK) hangs in the balance after 26 out of 30 allegations of patient mistreatment were upheld by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPT).
The Tribunal, during a hearing that is ongoing in Manchester “found that Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro’s fitness to practise remains impaired by reason of his misconduct both because of the need to protect the public and in the wider public interest”.
“The tribunal acknowledged that Dr Nyatsuro’s failings arose in an exceptionally difficult situation in which there were staff shortages,” said Tribunal chair Andrew Lewis.
“The tribunal was impressed by Dr Nyatsuro’s insight. He accepted his failures, the risk to which they gave rise and the damage to patient confidence.
“He explained where he had gone wrong and why it was important. He set out in appropriate detail how he should have acted to employ Ms A (a healthcare assistant) without giving rise to risks to patients and public confidence.
“The tribunal was encouraged by Dr Nyatsuro’s efforts to gain insight and remediate his misconduct and it considered the risk of repetition to be low.”
Dr Nyatsuro – a British citizen – was appointed chairman of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) board by then health minister Obadiah Moyo before the latter was sacked over Covid-19 procurement fraud.
Nyasturo had returned to his naïve Zimbabwe after making headlines in the UK over the controversial takeover of a thriving tobacco farm with the claimed help of then President Robert Mugabe’s powerful wife Grace.
The return to Zimbabwe followed the 2016 closure of his then thriving Willows Medical Centre in Nottingham after a healthcare assistant was found to have been posing as a doctor and carrying out internal examinations.
- Doctor alleged to have mistreated nine patients while in Nottingham
- UK: Zim doctor at centre of Grace Mugabe farm ‘gift’ row charged with medical misconduct; risks being struck off by tribunal
The General Medical Council has also alleged that Dr Nyatsuro mistreated nine patients during the period from April 4 2016 to May 16 2016.
26 of the 30 allegations, also including inadequate record taking, were either admitted by Dr Nyatsuro or found proven by the tribunal.
“The tribunal found that the record keeping failures and clinical failures resulted from the system that Dr Nyatsuro instigated when he employed Ms A,” said the Tribunal chairman.
“The record keeping failures relate to the records made by Ms A, whom Dr Nyatsuro was responsible for supervising but failed to supervise so that she made inadequate records until the end of April 2016, before Dr Nyatsuro realised they were not adequate.
“Dr Nyatsuro’s clinical failures also arise from the system of ‘parallel clinics’ which he instigated because that system resulted in him relying on the account of a patient given to him by Ms A, whose skills he had never assessed, and having insufficient time to make adequate examinations and assessments himself.”
Lewis said the Tribunal was although the Tribunal was impressed by Dr Nyatsuro’s acceptance of his failures, it still found that his fitness to practice remains impaired.
“… it (the Tribunal) could not be fully assured that there was no risk of repetition because Dr Nyatsuro has not yet returned to work and been able to demonstrate the success of his remediation in a period of supervised practice,” said Lewis.
“The tribunal found that, taken together, the way in which Ms A was employed and Dr Nyatsuro’s own clinical failings, were sufficiently serious that public confidence would be undermined and the tribunal would be failing to promote and maintain proper standards for the profession if it did not make a finding of impairment.
“Therefore, the Tribunal found that Dr Nyatsuro’s fitness to practise remains impaired by reason of his misconduct both because of the need to protect the public and in the wider public interest.”
The hearing is ongoing and is expected to conclude on Tuesday (July 12).