The HPCSA has a non-punitive Health Committee that assists practitioners, including registered students, who suffer from mental or physical challenges or the abuse of or dependence on chemical substances, which affect competence, attitude, judgement or performance. The Health Committee regulates and advises impaired practitioners who suffer from a mental or physical condition or the abuse of or dependence on chemical substances, which affects the competence, attitude, judgment or performance. The Health Committee is a non-punitive Committee which was established to manage the compliance of the practitioners while also protecting the public. The Committee also focuses on the refinement of the regulations and procedures affecting the day to day functions and operations of the Health Committee.
Some of the functions of the Health Committee include:
- Establish policies and procedures and to enlist cooperation and support for the prevention or alleviation of circumstances which may lead to impairment in students and practitioners.
- Establish mechanisms and procedures for the early identification of impairment in students and practitioners
- Implement procedures for handling crisis situations which may threaten patient safety and care.
- Undertake informal assessments of reports on alleged impaired students and practitioners, to make findings with regard to impairment and, if required, to impose conditions of registration or practice on such persons aimed at protection of patients and treatment of impaired persons.
- Appoint investigation committees on an Ad Hoc basis to undertake formal investigations into reports on alleged impairment in the absence of voluntary cooperation of students or practitioners, to make findings with regard to impairment and, if required, to impose conditions of registration or practice aimed at protection of patients and treatment of impaired students or practitioners.
- Consider applications by students or practitioners who were found to be impaired to have their conditions of registration or practice amended or to have such conditions revoked.
- Oversee the implementation of treatment programmes of impaired students or practitioners and to review the position of each such student or practitioner at least every 3 years.
Healthcare practitioners can access the services of the HPCSA Health Committee in their personal capacity or on behalf of a colleague. For more information, practitioners can:
Author: Dr TA Muslim