Heroic doctors' torment

Heroic doctors' torment

Dedicated medics hounded by self-serving politicians.

Mseleni Provincial Hospital is in the sticks in a distant corner of northern KwaZulu-Natal, yet this remote state hospital is renowned in specialist medical circles for its stewardship of the strange Mseleni joint disease. This crippling form of endemic osteoarthritis, cause unknown, is curiously confined only to the local population, to whose long-suffering joints it brings stiffness and agonising pain.

The rare condition targets mainly the hip and, at Mseleni, Dr Victor Fredlund and Dr Kobus Viljoen regularly performed two total hip replacements every Wednesday. Until, that is, the day they set about filling 20 vacancies for general orderlies who are required to keep the hospital running smoothly.

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