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Guidance for healthcare professionals

The HPCSA Inspectorate Office is here to assist and guide healthcare professionals to perform their duties of helping the public without any hindrances.

The Inspectorate Office was established as one of the HPCSA’s efforts to fully discharge its mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions. This is in line with one of Council’s responsibilities of enforcing compliance by practitioners as per the provisions of the Health Professions Act, No.56 of 1974.

The main focus and primary role is to ensure that registered practitioners comply with the provisions of the Act, as well as all rules and regulations governing the practitioners.

Over and above the overarching responsibility of ensuring compliance, the office is also responsible for the following:

  • Conducting proactive inspections of premises to ensure compliance;
  • Assisting Professional Boards with inspections on clinical and professional compliance matters;
  • Ensuring compliance with penalties imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee; and
  • Collecting outstanding fines and attending to criminal matters in respect of unregistered practitioners.

The office ensures that unregistered healthcare professionals do not practice and those persons masquerading as healthcare professionals (bogus healthcare practitioners) are investigated, exposed and criminally charged.

Currently, the HPCSA is involved in a number of cases where untrained, unqualified and/or unregistered people were practicing as healthcare professionals.

Allowing untrained or unregistered people to practice reflects negatively on the entire profession and poses a danger to the public. The office is therefore working with law enforcement and other regulatory institutions within the health sector, as well as with members of the public, to expose these illegal practitioners.

A recent case that was investigated and handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) was that of Dr AA Osoare (medical practitioner) and Dr KI Maoba (dentist), both based at Shop 66a, Dobsonville Shopping Centre, Soweto. The practitioners run a joint practice under the name “Total Care Surgery”. These practitioners have employed assistants who are not registered with the HPCSA. The services offered at the practice include:

  • Sonar;
  • Pap smear;
  • Rapid HIV test;
  • Circumcision;
  • Antenatal Care;
  • Family Planning; and
  • Laboratory investigations.

Upon arrival at the practice, investigators from the HPCSA and the Forensic Specialist Investigator, discovered that other practitioners, not elsewhere mentioned, were working there. One such practitioner, going by the name of “Dr Sympho”, disappeared from the scene as he was being questioned, raising much suspicion. “Dr Sympho’s” identity and whereabouts cannot be determined.

The reception area was manned by two ladies, Ms Zodwa and Ms Vilakazi – she later admitted that she is the assistant to Dr Osoare. This practitioner only sees patients on Saturdays, according to her. Alarmingly, Ms Vilakazi is not registered with the HPCSA, but she admits to seeing patients in the absence of Dr Osoare. This is a clear case of a person who is not a medical practitioner diagnosing patients.

When Dr Maoba arrived at the practice he was requested to answer several questions regarding the practice. He admitted to being employed by Ms Theresa Kabwanga Lonji to assist with dentistry work in her absence. Ms Lonji, is a Congolese national with formal refugee status in South Africa. Dr Maoba admitted to not having verified the registration status of Ms Lonji with the HPCSA. In addition, he admitted that he claims from the medical aid schemes for the services rendered by Ms Lonji.

Both Dr Osoare and Dr Maoba work there on a part-time basis, employing assistants in their place. Their registration was positively confirmed by the HPCSA. However, they were arrested and taken into custody.

The Inspectorate Office is fully operational and based at the Council’s Head Office in Pretoria, with regional offices in the Western Cape (Cape Town), Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban) and Eastern Cape (East London).

Last Updated on 9 September 2016 by HPCSA Corporate Affairs