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HPCSA disciplinary committee rulings for the third-quarter of 2021

A doctor fined for sexual impropriety, another for a spurious medical certificate, and a third for failing to diagnose herpes; a dentist fined for failing to adhere to fundamental principles; and an optometrist who submitted fraudulent claims. MedicalBrief’s regular roundup of recent findings by the disciplinary committees of  the Health Professions Council of SA.

Health Professions Council of SA July-September 2021 disciplinaries

July 2021

Dr P Ramhitshana (MP 0436267/22403912)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that on or about September to December 2016 in relation to your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standard of your profession in that you:
1.1 failed to administer the only treatment that is known to be cure for a condition that is known to be potentially fatal;
1.2 ignored the clinical signs that point to unfavourable outcome in early onset hypertension in pregnancy.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: five years’ suspension of which six months is a direct suspension from practice with immediate effect; and practitioner to undergo training at a public hospital in the obstetrics and gynaecology discipline during this period. He must report back to HPCSA with proof that he underwent training
• The remaining four and a half years is wholly suspended for five years on condition he is not found guilty of a similar transgression during the period of suspension
• Plus R50,000 fine plus costs of the inquiries of the succeeding dates.

Ds S Dube (CA0001902/239299290)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which is unprofessional in that on or about July 2020, you acted in a manner not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that: 1. you were found practising while suspended from practising your profession; and/or 2. you acted outside the scope of your profession by practising while suspended.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed a R10,000 fine and R20,000 for costs of the proceedings, both to be paid in six-monthly instalments.

Mr T Mahlako (OT 0087050/23260982 /23095752 / 23909808)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct in that from January to December 2018 in respect of your patient, you and or your practice claimed for services not rendered.
Count 2
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession is unprofessional on that during the period January-December 2018 in respect of your patient, you and or your practice claimed for services not rendered.
Count 3
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession is unprofessional on that during the period January -December 2018 in respect of your patient, you and or your practice claimed for services not rendered.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: R210,000.000 payable within 24 months; and two years suspension from practice, which is wholly suspended for three years; and he must attend a course on practice management.

MR T Motsepe(OP 0030163/23286484)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession is unprofessional on that during the period January-December 2019 you and or your practice claimed from Discovery Health medical aid for services not rendered.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed a R20,000.00 fine, payable within six months starting from 1 June 2021.

DR L Malleamalla (DT 0040851/23204882)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period November 2019 to November 2020, you and/or your practice failed to respond to Council correspondence despite repeated requests to do so.
Count 2
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period 9 December 2018 to 15 December 2018, in respect of your patient, you and/or your practice claimed for services not  rendered.
Count 3
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period 5 June 2018 to 20 June 2018, in respect of your patient Mr ET Mmelegedi, you and/or your practice claimed for services not rendered.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: R70,000.00 fine, payable within 12 months; and to attend training on ethics within six months from date of enquiry.

Dr N Kipanga (MP 0361246/23065960)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during 2018, in respect of your patient you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you: 1. you conducted yourself in a sexually inappropriate manner; and 2. you kissed your patient.
Penalty:
1. The respondent was charged with one count of unprofessional conduct, in relation to sexual impropriety on a patient. The pro forma complainant led evidence of two witnesses and the respondent also led two witnesses in respect of his case.
2. The respondent was found guilty by the professional conduct committee and sanctioned as follows: Fined R100,000.00), and half of which is suspended for two years on condition he is not found guilty of a similar offence during the period of suspension. Furthermore, the committee ordered that the R50,000.00 be paid over three months, starting in August 2021 and the final instalment on or before the end of October 2021.

Mr Khensani Matheba (STA 0031640/23250298)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of 12 counts of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession is unprofessional, on or about January 2017, you and/or your practice rendered or caused or permitted to be rendered on your behalf and in respect of your patient, accounts/statements wherein you charged and/or attempted to recover one or more or all of the amounts specified therein for professional services rendered by you and/or your practice, while: a) one or more or all of the aforesaid professional services was/were not rendered by you; and/or b) you did not in truth and in fact render any professional services in respect of your patient and/or his dependents c) you were not entitled to payment of one or more or all of the amounts specified in the said accounts/statements; and or
d) the said accounts/statements were drafted in a manner that was inaccurate or incorrect; and/or e) the said accounts/statements were drafted in such a manner as to cause financial potential prejudice to the Medical Aid Scheme concerned.
Penalty
The respondent was found guilty on all 12 counts and sentenced to a fine of R25,000 payable within 24 months from August 2021, plus two years suspension from practice which is wholly suspended for a period of three years on condition that the respondent is not found guilty again of a similar offence.

Ms S Raphokoane (OP 0033588/2503100)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period October 2011, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you issued the patient with spectacles and fraudulently submitted a claim to his medical aid for contact lenses not issued.
Count 2
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period December 2010, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you issued the patient with spectacles and fraudulently submitted a claim to his medical aid for contact lenses not issued.
Count 3
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period December 2010, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you issued the patient with spectacles and fraudulently submitted a claim to his medical aid for contact lenses not issued.
Count 4
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period December 2010, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you issued the patient with spectacles and fraudulently submitted a claim to his medical aid for contact lenses not issued.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and was sentenced as follows: three years suspension which is wholly suspended for a period of five years AND further that the respondent must submit six CPD Ethics points in the new financial year.

Ms T Mkansi (OT 0066702/23260754)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that on or during the period January 2018 – April 2019, you and/or your practice employed a suspended occupational therapy assistant, Ms Patience Bhembe, to render services to patients.
Count 2-48
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period mentioned in Annexure TM1-48, you and/or your practice submitted fraudulent claims to Medscheme Medical Aid for services not rendered.
Penalty
On the first count, the Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: two years suspension from practice, which is wholly suspended for a period of three years on condition that she is not found guilty of a similar offence committed during the period of suspension; and
On count 2-48, a fine of R30 000.00, payable within six months, starting from 1 February 2021.

Dr Shaboodien (DP0059781/19949594)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period February 2013 to August 2013, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you failed to adhere to the fundamental principle of full mouth rehabilitation resulting in poor aesthetics, inadequate functioning, failing restorations, pain and discomfort.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct of Inquiry was held on 3 August 2021 against the respondent. Same was proceeded with, in his absence, and he was tried and convicted in absentia. The respondent was found guilty, and the following sanction was imposed: R80,000.00 fine, payable immediately.

Dr M Mdluli (MP0430099/19940592)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, read with section 1 of the Health Professions Act 54 of 1974 as amended is unprofessional in that on or about January 2016 in relation to your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standard of your profession in that you: 1.1. potentially and/or actually endangered the patient by using and/or promising to use treatment that is not recognised by the profession and/or unregistered treatment.

The respondent was found guilty as charged and was sanctioned as follows: 12 months’ suspension, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of a similar offence during the period of suspension; He must also attend a course in clinical practice and ethics, and produce proof within six months.

August 2021

Dr AS Suliman (MP 0433713/23280878)
Complaint
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during or about January 2018, in respect of your patient, you and/or your practice, failed and/or neglected to make an adequate assessment of your patient and as a result, your patient gave birth to a stillborn baby.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty and imposed a R70,000 fine, 24 months’ suspension suspended for five years, and for the first 24 months of his suspension, compulsory attendance at a rehab unit, attendance to be monitored by the HPCSA.

Dr L Ngobo (MP 0584614/2393344)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that on or about July 2020, in respect of Xhanti Xobongo (“your patient”) you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you: issued a medical certificate without consulting and/or examining your patient ;and booked your patient off for an extended period for a minor diagnosis.
Count 2
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period 06 – 11 August 2020, in respect of Xhanti Xobongo (“your patient”) you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you failed and/or neglected to keep medical records.
Penalty
The respondent was found guilty by the professional conduct committee and sanctioned as follows: R20,000.00 fine, half of which is suspended for three years on condition that he is not found guilty of a similar offence during the period of suspension. R10,000.00 to be paid within 60 days.

September 2021

Ms Bhembe (OTB 0010448/23722266)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that on or during the period January 2016 – 2019, you practiced as an occupational therapist without being registered with the Council.
Counts 2-48
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during the period mentioned in Annexure TM1-48, you and/or your practice submitted fraudulent claims to Medscheme Medical Aid for services not rendered.
Penalty
On 8 September 2021, the Professional Conduct Committee found the Respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: removal of her name from the Register.

Dr N Sebele (MP 0360511/23054904)
Complaint
Count 1
THAT you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, is unprofessional in that during February and March 2019, in respect of your patient, you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standard of your profession in that: You failed to conduct proper pre operative management; You failed to properly check the under lying cause; You failed to pick up /and or you were unable to pick up disseminating herpes.
Penalty
The Professional Conduct Committee found the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed the following sentence: a fine of R70,000 for negligent handling of the patient, plus R20,000 for exposing patient to danger and harm; plus, a further three years suspension, which is wholly suspended for a period of five years, on condition he is not found guilty of a similar transgression during the period of suspension. • Further, to attend an Ethics Course at any university in South Africa for two years, of which he will submit a monthly assignment to Prof Baniegbal and HPCSA, to assess compliance; furthermore, to attend a Patient Safety Course for six months, at any institution offering such course within the Republic of South Africa and to produce proof of attendance to HPCSA.

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