Doctor sidesteps HPCSA but still has R22m headache

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A Gauteng doctor implicated in a R22m fraud case involving patients has secured a legal victory against the Health Professions Council of SA by arguing it did not have jurisdiction to find him guilty of professional misconduct.

According to a Times Select report, Dr David Stephen Grieve has been embroiled in allegations of fraud for more than a decade, with claims that, from 2004 to 2009, he persuaded several patients and former patients to invest in a company in which he was a director. However, he allegedly knew the company was in financial distress and that it was set to be liquidated, and moved the funds into his private bank account.

The report says while the criminal case against him continued, the HPCSA’s professional conduct committee launched an inquiry in 2014 into his conduct for allegedly bringing the medical profession into disrepute. Throughout those proceedings, Grieve insisted the committee had no jurisdiction over him for his actions outside of the medical profession and approached the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) for relief. Grieve had argued the charges were ‘entirely unrelated to the health profession’.

The report says Judge Nomsa Khumalo ruled ‘the conduct (Grieve is accused of) must significantly have something to do with him as a health professional or the performance of his duties as a health practitioner’. And she asked: ‘Would the HPCSA have charged Grieve had the companies not been in distress?’ The judge ruled that not only was the committee found not to have jurisdiction over Grieve’s matter currently, the HPCSA was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.

Times Select report (subscription needed)

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