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HPCSA denies implementing unlawful regulations

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has denied accusations that it was implementing “unlawful” regulations with exorbitant fees being levied to registered practitioners.

It said the claims that it was intentionally enforcing these regulations, declared illegal by the Competition Commission, were untrue, reports the Cape Times.

MedicalBrief published a News24 report on 23 August in which the South African Medical Association (SAMA) said the HPCSA “continues to punish doctors with hefty fines for contravening regulations found to be unlawful by the Competition Commission 12 years ago”.

Moreover, in the article, SAMA also accused the national Health Department of not implementing an October 2015 report finding the HPCSA was rife with mismanagement and maladministration. It said despite being told its rules were illegal and anti-competitive, it had continued to punish health workers, mainly doctors, with fines of up to R60 000 for breaching its unlawful regulations.

SAMA chairperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa said former Health Ministers Aaron Motsoaledi and Zweli Mkhize – and current Health Minister Joe Phaahla – had ignored his association’s repeated pleas to implement the October 2015 report.

Head of the HPCSA’s legal services Advocate Phelelani Khumalo, said the article, was found by the 2015 ministerial report to have overseen a “dysfunctional system of professional conduct inquiries which has prejudiced practitioners and the public”.

The DA has called for the dissolution of the HPCSA board, and the suspension of its CEO Dr Magome Masike and legal services head Khumalo.

In its response, the HPCSA said the allegations were “mainly raised in the media”. “These regulations are lawful as they are promulgated by the Minister in line with the Health Professions Act. It is therefore inaccurate for anyone to say that the HPCSA is issuing fines in contravention of the Competition Commission’s findings or any other law,” it said, adding that it had instituted interventions under the leadership of council.

These included the decision to institute disciplinary and incapacity proceedings against the registrar/CEO, chief operations officer and general manager for legal services, and to appoint an interim executive management team.

HPCSA_Response_Letter_30_Aug_2023

Cape Times article – HPCSA defends itself from accusations that it is ‘dysfunctional’ (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

HPCSA persists in enforcing regulations declared ‘unlawful’

 

HPCSA amendments offer hope

 

HPCSA accused of failing women victims of medical malpractice

 

Afriforum to legally challenge HPCSA delay of 12,000 registration certificates

 

 

 

 

 

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