Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  19 Aug 2009

Medical: Experts Warn Of Mushrooming Of Bogus Doctors in SA


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“We have been aware for some considerable time of their existence but there is nothing we can do about the situation other than raise awareness among the public because they are not members of SAMA nor do we have any jurisdiction over them. The best advice I can give to the public is to check the qualifications and HPCSA registration of any practitioner that they may have doubts about. ”

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) said it was concerned over the flood of advertisements by people claiming to be doctors and “experts” in pregnancy termination and has warned the public to avoid such individuals.

HPCSA Registrar, Advocate Boyce Mkhize, said the countless “advertisements” plastered mostly on street poles and buildings by people with names like Dr Cure, Dr John, Dr Liezl, it was a clear indication these people were not registered with the HPCSA.

“The HPCSA warns the public to be on the lookout for bogus doctors who claim to do abortions. Only qualified medical people are allowed to carry out abortions.

“Members of the public are encouraged to check with the HPCSA on 012 338 9301 to see if the people they go to for medical attention are registered practitioners.”

He said the HPCSA has no jurisdiction over bogus practitioners and anyone masquerading as medical practitioner must be reported to the police. Working as a medical person without the registration of the relevant regulatory authority was a criminal act.

“We are concerned about the mushrooming of these illegal practitioners as they not only put the lives of people at risk due to unscientific methods they employ but also due to the fact that they cannot be held accountable by the HPCSA in case of negligence and complications arising from their interventions,” he said.

Ina Van der Merwe, CEO of international background screening company Kroll, said an ever increasing number of individuals were faking their qualifications and this included doctors, nurses and other medically related professions.

“The medical profession has become a favourite among fraudsters because of the potentially lucrative career opportunities it offers.”

Referring to the recent arrest of four backstreet abortionists who have been arrested in Durban, she said her company had over the years uncovered many bogus doctors. One of the most well known cases was that of a well respected paediatrician who had been operating at an East Rand hospital for years while the only qualifications he had was that of a male nurse.

She said fraudulent qualifications across the board were on the increase with between 15% and 18% turning out to be fraudulent.

”The problem of ‘professionals’ faking their qualifications has reached near-epidemic proportions. Many have impressive fake diplomas from top universities complete with wax seals hanging in their offices that look exactly like the real thing but are as fake as a R7 bank note.”

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