False medical certificates issued by corrupt doctors are costing the economy more than R12bn annually and have resulted in an investigation by the Health Professions Medical Council of SA (HPCSA).
The New Age reports that the HPCSA confirmed that it was investigating 50 doctors for issuing fraudulent sick notes.
Gauteng leads in sick note fraud with 25 doctors under investigation while the Western Cape has 19 cases and KwaZulu-Natal has three. The Gauteng Department of Health was unable to comment on the matter.
A report by Occupational Care South Africa (Ocsa), a private workplace health and wellness management company, said that without active management, a single day’s absence can cost a company an amount equivalent to three days salary. Ocsa data also shows that on average between 15% and 30% of staff are absent on any given day. It said that two-thirds of employees who fail to show up at work are not physically ill.
A human resources consultant, Jonathan Ndlovu, said a high percentage of employees appear to be faking illness. “It’s said that more than 40% of sick notes are handed out without a diagnosis. In most cases people who buy these are either unhappy or struggling to cope at work,” Ndlovu said.The New Age report