The HPCSA has updated the ethical guidelines for Telehealth (formerly called Telemedicine) to allow remote management of patients. Practitioners are reminded that, notwithstanding amendments as described below, the Ethical Rules of Conduct for Health Practitioners registered under the Health Professions Act remain in force even when practising Telehealth.
Being registered as a healthcare professional with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) confers on us the right and privilege to practise our professions. Correspondingly, practitioners have moral or ethical duties to others and society. These duties are generally in keeping with the principles of the South African Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996) and the obligations imposed on healthcare practitioners by law.
Ethics, Human Rights and Health Law is an understanding of the bioethical principles that determine how health practitioners perform research and interact with patients/clients and society as described in Chapter 1 and 2 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 (As adopted on 8 May 1996 and amended on 11 October 1996 by the Constitutional Assembly). Healthcare is a constantly advancing field and with these advances, conflicts often arise within the arenas of politics, law, religion, philosophy, and economics. An understanding of bioethics helps us to recognise, admit and sometimes resolve these conflicts.
In view of the unique challenges posed by ever changing service delivery environment, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the HPCSA reviewed some of its ethical guidelines to allow Telehealth (formerly called Telemedicine) to enable remote management of patients using virtual acceptable platforms, including video and telephones
Whereas these guidelines are applicable during COVID-19 pandemic, the HPCSA will continue to fine-tune the guidelines around telemedicine governance in line its mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions.
Last Updated on 17 August 2022 by HPCSA Corporate Affairs