Almost 10 000 healthcare practitioners were suspended from the Health Professions Council of South Africa’s (HPCSA) register this past weekend for failure to pay their annual fees.
This announcement by the Council comes after the deadline for payment of annual fees was disregarded despite the Council having exhausted all avenues in contacting these practitioners, including letters, telephone calls, sms and notification via professional associations.
According to the Health Professions Act, it is a criminal offence to practice any of the health professions under the ambit of the Council when suspended or erased from the Register.
Practitioners are required to pay their annual fees on or before 1 April of every year. The money is used by the Council to act on its mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions.
Among the 10 000, some 1 500 medical and dental practitioners will not be allowed to practice their professions, while over 6 500 emergency care practitioners were suspended on the weekend for failing to comply with the regulations governing the professions. Almost 600 psychologists were also struck from the Register.
The HPCSA has called on employers to ensure all practitioners have paid their annual fees and are legally practising their professions.
The Council is mandated to regulate the health professions in the country in aspects pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing Professional Development (CPD), and fostering compliance with healthcare standards.
In order to safeguard the public and indirectly the professions, registration in terms of the Act is a prerequisite for practising any of the health professions with which Council is concerned.
(Press release from the HPCSA, November 2012)
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