Thursday, 15 July 2021

DOC NABBED OVER FAKE LAB TESTS

Over a thousand fake medical laboratory test reports were allegedly prepared by Michael Mandaza of Euro-Pacific 24 Hour Private Hospital in Mabvuku between 2017 and 2021 netting him US$40 to $80 a test although no work was done except creative writing on a computer and the use of a rubber stamp for a non-existent laboratory.

This followed complaints by more than 200 of his patients who suspected they were given fake medical results and approached the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on June 14.

Exactly one month later, after police and ZACC investigations, Mandaza yesterday appeared in court on fraud charges. He was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi, who remanded him in custody to today to hear his bail application.

And in his remand hearing, the State led by Mr Ephraim Zinyandu outlined the alleged scam.

Mandaza is alleged to have been collecting blood, sputum and other samples for laboratory tests and charging the patients a test fee.

He then allegedly prepared reports on a computer for the Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory which does not appear to exist, using the name of Dr Jasper Chimedza, who is Secretary of Health and Child Welfare, and claiming someone called Martin Jones prepared the results and someone called Michael Chigwada reviewed them.

Police investigations could not find any Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory. No such laboratory is registered with the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe and the Health Professional Authority of Zimbabwe.

There is no such entity at 13 Robson Manyika Avenue, the address on its paperwork. Mr Jones and Mr Chigwada are not registered or listed as scientific staff anywhere.

But a ZACC raid on Monday on Mandaza hospital at Kamunhu Shopping Centre in Mabvuku and his home in nearby Zimre Park in Ruwa did find patient files, a date stamp of Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory and computers allegedly used in preparing results.

They had to in the end break into his personal locker to recover around 1 000 files dating back to 2017.

The investigation started when renal patient Ivy Chaitezvi (67), liver patient Simbisai Chisue and 200 others, suspected their test results were not proper, lodged their complaint with ZACC. Herald

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