The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has a new leadership team for the next five years. Following the process of nomination by the practitioners, twelve new Professional Boards were appointed by the Minister of Health in accordance with the Health Professions Act no. 56 of 1974. The chairpersons of the new Boards will serve as members of the HPCSA Council for the next five years.
The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) at its Council inaugural meeting held at Emperor’s Palace on 9 December 2020 elected Professor Mbulaheni Simon Nemutandani as President and Dr Simpiwe Sobuwa as Vice President. Both were elected to serve for the 2020-25 term of office.
Professor Nemutandani is the Head and CEO of the School of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand. He is also the Chairperson of the Association of Deans of Dental Schools in Southern Africa. He qualified as a dentist from the University of Western Cape approximately 30 years ago. He holds three master’s degrees in public health from the University of Venda, maters of science in medicine and specialist in community dentistry from the University of Witwatersrand and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Pretoria. His research interests are on health systems, policy and traditional medicine and HIV.
He explored a decolonisation model for collaboration between indigenous and western trained health providers in post-colonial South Africa. In his role as a policy and public oral health specialist, he has been instrumental in developing the South African Oral Health Policy, providing advises on oral health matters to National and Provincial governments in South Africa.
Dr Simpiwe Sobuwa is the Head of Department for the Emergency Medical Care and Rescue at the Durban University of Technology. He graduated with a National Diploma: Emergency Medical Care; Bachelor of Technology: Emergency Medical Care and Higher Diploma: Higher Education and Training from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
He also holds a Master of Science and a PhD degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Cape Town. He is the immediate outgoing director of the Emergency Care Society of South Africa where he served on the Executive Committee. He was also the Vice-Chairperson of the Professional Board for Emergency Care and the Chairperson of the ICT Steering Committee of the HPCSA.
He was recently appointed as the Chairperson of the Professional Board for Emergency Care of the Health Professions Council of South Africa for the 2020-25 term of office. He is also an associate editor for the South African Journal of Prehospital Emergency Care and he has also participated in various Peer-Reviewed Publications. Dr Sobuwa has been involved in different leadership roles at a professional level.
The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize passed the chain of office to Professor Nemutandani and announced him as the President-Elect and Dr Simpiwe Sobuwa Vice President. The election comes weeks after the Council Members were inducted and given training.
When welcoming the President and Vice President, Professor Nemutandani and Dr Sobuwa, the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of both the President and Vice President and I am confident of their leadership capabilities to steer the HPCSA and deliver on its mandate as encapsulated by the Health Professions Act, 54 of 1974”.
Professor Nemutandani, when accepting the presidency during the inauguration said: “I feel privileged and humbled by the confidence that Council has in my ability to lead and steer the HPCSA ship. I have the commitment, passion, and humility to serve the registered healthcare practitioners and the public at large. The new Council is determined to achieve the goals and objectives to ensure that the public is served by competent healthcare practitioners with an efficient healthcare system”.
“I intend to take the legacy of the outgoing President, Dr Solomon Kgosietsile Letlape and his predecessors forward. I have the commitment, passion, and humility to serve the registered healthcare practitioners and the public at large. I have the determination to achieve results for the working healthcare system in our country. I believe we have the power to do so. We just need to be very smart in our planning and priority setting, and street-wise in our actions” he further stated.
The Acting Registrar/CEO, Dr Munyadziwa Kwinda, when congratulating the new President-elect, Professor Nemutandani and Dr Sobuwa said: “We as Secretariat will provide the necessary support and guidance for them to ensure that they execute their duties”
The newly appointed and inducted Professional Board members of the Health Professions Council of Africa were also recently inaugurated to start their 2020- 2025 term of office. The new Professional Boards, which recently met with HPCSA management and officials, consists of a highly educated, highly motivated and knowledgeable group of individuals in all the 12 Professional Boards. Each of the 12 Professional Boards at the inauguration ceremony also voted for their respective Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons.