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Disgraced Radiologist Sues For Defamation

May 23, 2011
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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A radiologist who had practiced in the city of Yorkton in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has sued the provincial health minister, the health region that formerly employed him, and the regulating body that barred him from practicing.

Darius Tsatsi, who received a medical degree at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, filed the suit Friday against Health Minister Don McMorris, the Sunrise Health Region, and the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons. The suit accuses them all of defamation.

In 2008, the college undertook a quality-assurance audit of 102 diagnostic tests that Dr. Tsatsi had interpreted. As a result, the college raised concerns that, in May 2009, led the Ministry of Health and the Sunrise Health Region to order a review of 68,360 CT scans, mammogram results, and ultrasound exams that Dr. Tsatsi had read.

The review cost $4 million, according to the Regina Leader-Post newspaper.

CTV reported in January that the reviewers differed with Dr. Tsatsi in their interpretation of 18.8 percent of the scans, and found differences with “the potential to affect patient care” in 2.9 percent. Authorities did not reveal how many patients received additional care or suffered from medical conditions that Dr. Tsatsi’s readings had failed to detect, citing confidentiality between physicians and patients.

Dr. Tsatsi let his medical license expire, and in January 2010 the college announced that it would no longer allow him to practice. According to the lawsuit, he now lives in South Africa.

The lawsuit accuses McMorris and spokespeople for the health region and the college of making comments that “contained serious allegations against the plaintiff which give the words a defamatory meaning inferentially or by innuendo.” It says the defendants conspired “to distort the facts” and asserts:

Whenever the plaintiff was assessed by radiologists outside of Saskatchewan, he was found to be competent and displaying knowledge and a skill similar to his peers.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, “an unqualified and unconditional public apology,” and reinstatement to Dr. Tsatsi’s previous position or an equivalent position.

In 2009, Dr. Tsatsi also sued Regina lawyer Tony Merchant for defamation. Merchant represents several patients who had launched a class action against Dr. Tsatsi. That action is apparently still pending.

Related seminar: Breast & Women’s Imaging Seminar


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