The Limpopo Department of Health has lost 21 emergency medical officers. This is due to them being deregistered by the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
21 EMERGENCY MEDICAL OFFICERS DEREGISTERED BY HPCSA
The HPSCA deregistered 21 emergency medical officers from the Limpopo province.
The Health Department said they were informed that these medical officers failed to meet the required standards to remain active members of the council.
Health MEC spokesperson Thilivhali Muavha said the department regrets the decision.
“According to regulations, this means that the implicated officers are no longer allowed to work as Emergency Medical Officers. It is for this reason that the department was left with no choice but to terminate their employment.”Thilivhali Muavha
An additional 46 emergency medical officers are requested to provide the department with proof of their registration with the HPSCA. This comes after the results of an audit on the registration status of such personnel were received from the HPSCA. Failure to provide such proof of registration may lead to the termination of services, said Muavha.
“The terminated employees had challenged the HPCSA in court through their labour unions which they unfortunately lost. The department had hoped that the matter between the council and the employees would be settled without having to terminate them.”
The Health Professions Act states that a practitioner is not allowed to continue practising in their profession if they no longer hold a current registration status. Conducting clinical work is also not allowed as that will amount to a breach of the regulatory requirements and employment contracts, Muavha explained.
HOW THIS WILL IMPACT THE LIMPOPO HEALTH DEPARTMENT?
Since the termination of the 21 employees, the department is left with 1 494 emergency care officers. These officers are at Basic Life and Intermediate Life Support level, resulting in an impact of only 1.4%, said Muavha.
But the department would have appreciated more hands in order to deal with any emergency cases during the upcoming festive seasons.
“Unfortunately, that could not be because as part of their employment contracts, healthcare professionals are required to keep active registration statuses with their various regulatory bodies in order to legitimize their permission to work with patients. These councils include the Health Professional Council of South Africa, the South African Nursing Council, the Pharmacy Council, and others.”
Audits of registration statuses of various health professionals will continue, the department said. Any other professionals that require registration with the applicable regulatory body will also be looked at.
“This is both internally and in consultation with the various regulatory bodies…”