Caution against locums practising illegally

Medical practitioners in private practice using locums when they are not available to practice are urged to ensure that the contracted locum are registered with the HPCSA in compliance with the Health Professions Act.

Illegal practitioners are not only breaking the law, but are putting people’s lives at risk resulting in far-reaching reputational risks affecting the greater health profession in South Africa.

The HPCSA Inspectorate Office in collaboration with the Hawks in the North West Province, the Local Criminal Record Centre and the Medicines Control Council, conducted an inspection in May 2018 in Wolmaransstad, North West Province.

Mr Peter Mukendi Kayembe, a Congolese citizen, was arrested after he was found practising as a medical practitioner while not registered with the HPCSA. Mr Kayembe is employed as a locum doctor by Dr Melvin Isaac Mokoena, a registered practitioner, practising at Shop 09, Kruger Street, Wolmaransstad since November 2015. As a result, the practice was shut down. Dr Mokoena was not available during the inspection.

Mr Kayembe appeared at the Wolmaransstad Magistrate Court on 17 May 2018 for contravention of Section 17(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act and Contravention of the Medicine and Related Substances Act for dispensing medicines without a dispensing licence.

Mr Kayembe is the second unregistered locum found to be employed by Dr Mokoena, the other unregistered locum (Mr Augustine Menji) who was arrested in Ottosdal on 3 May 2017. The HPCSA cautions practitioners on the dangers of employing locum doctors that are not registered with Council and remind practitioners that the onus to ensure that the locum is registered and fit to practice, rests with the principal.

Should you know of any practitioners transgressing against the HPCSA Conduct and Ethics Rules, please contact the regional office closest to you:

HPCSA HEAD OFFICE AND GAUTENG REGIONAL OFFICE: Mr Vincent Skosana, 553 Madiba Street, Arcadia, 0083 or PO Box 205, Pretoria, 0001, Tel:  012 338 3984

HPCSA WESTERN CAPE REGIONAL OFFICE: Mr Anele Botile,Century City Business Centre, No 1 Bridgeway Road, Bridgeway Precint, Century, 7411, Tel:  +27 (0)21 830 5920/21

HPCSA KWAZULU NATAL REGIONAL OFFICE Ms Busisiwe Nguse,The Business Centre, 2 Ncondo Place, Ridge Side Umhlanga Ridge, Postnet Suite 47, 4320, Tel:  031 830 5293/94

HPCSA EASTERN CAPE REGIONAL OFFICE, Mrs Hayley Smith, Regus Business Centre, Office No: 29 & 31, 14 Stewart Street, Berea, East London, 5241, Tel: 043 783 9734