Saturday, March 17, 2007

Health minister accused of jumping the queue

By Tarryn Le Chat
17 March 2007

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been accused of jumping the queue for a liver transplant. However, her physician of four years, Professor Jeff Wing says this is not the case.

Reports state that Wing and the team of specialists who attended to Tshabalala-Msimang held a press conference at Wits University's Donald Gordon Medical Centre to demystify issues around the ministers liver transplant.

According to a weekend paper, Wing explained that the minister’s tissue-typing rendered her a universal recipient. More importantly, Dr Russell Britz, the Johannesburg Hospital’s chief transplant surgeon, explained that the minister scored the highest points to be a recipient.

Reports stated that Britz clarified how they determine the criteria on who gets allocated an organ.

"The allocation policy is done through an international grading systems, Meld (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) and Unos (United Network for Organ Sharing) which give doctors medical data. "The scoring category goes from 10 to 40. The closer to 40 the more ill the patient.", said Britz.

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