HPCSA concerned about escalating number of fake doctors in SA

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The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) says it is concerned about the escalating number of fake doctors around the country. This is as evidence before the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court has revealed that a 38-year-old bogus doctor accused of raping a 17-year-old girl, is not registered with the health council and is also in the country illegally.

The bogus doctor, who is now claiming to be a medical assistant, allegedly raped the teenage girl in his surgery. During his last court appearance, it was discovered that he has another sexual assault case against him dating back to April.

The HPCSA’s Christopher Tsatsawane says the increasing number of unregistered health practitioners is of great concern.

“We are really concerned about this kind of behaviour because it is recently becoming quite prevalent. In the previous few months, we have seen an increase of bogus doctors or bogus health practitioners who are masquerading as health practitioners who are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa when in fact they are not registered with the council. In the previous four or five months we’ve been picking up pockets of health practitioners in different provinces who are not registered with the health professions council.”

Some Kimberley residents say their trust in medical doctors has been broken. They say they feel unsafe and have submitted a petition to the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court to deny bail for the accused.

They say testimonies coming out of the court indicate that the accused has been practising illegally and they can no longer put their trust in medical practitioners.

“We are not safe anymore. We are scared now. The doctor is supposed to be trusted by us but how can I trust a doctor now. He must go down. As parents and as the community we feel that enough is enough,” says one of the residents.

Another resident says; “As women we are saying we won’t be able to trust any doctor anymore, because this doctor,  is a long time that he has been doing this thing and as the community of Galeshewe we said no bail. The doctor must stay behinds bars.”

WARNING- GRAPHIC CONTENT: The father of the alleged victim says he feels vengeful : 

The HPCSA says according to the Health Professions Act no person within the borders of South Africa is allowed to practice without being registered with the HPCSA in terms of the Act. He says they are in this case working closely with the police in the Northern Cape to bring the bogus doctors to book.

“From the HPCA side, unfortunately we would not necessarily have a lot of jurisdiction over a practitioner or a person who is bogus because they are not necessarily registered with us. But once we establish the fact that they have been practising without being registered in terms of our Act, we are empowered to report this to our law enforcement agencies so that the law can take its course,” says  Tsatsawane.

It has been revealed in court that the bogus Kimberley based doctor initially came in the country on a visitor’s passport, which expired in 2018.

The case is expected to resume on Friday.