The Limpopo Health Department has fired 21 emergency officers after finding out they were deregistered by the Health Professional Council of South Africa
“The Limpopo Department of Health regrets the decision it had to take to part ways with 21 Emergency Medical Officers,” it said in a statement.
“This was after the department was informed by the Health Professional Council of South Africa that these employees had been deregistered from the council after failing to meet the required standards in order to remain active members of the council.”
46 Other emergency workers told to provide proof
Following the dismissal of the 21 emergency personnel, 46 more employees have been requested to provide proof of their registration.
According to regulations, 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,” said Limpopo Health.
The massive qualifications clamp down come after results of an audit on the registration status of EMS personnel were received from HPCSA, failing which their services may be terminated regrettably.
Employees court challenge unsuccessful
The department reports that affected employees had challenged the HPCSA in court through their labour unions, but the lost the case.
“The department had hoped that the matter between the council and the employees would be settled without having to terminate them.”
Limpopo Health department is now left with 1494 Emergency Care Officers at Basic Life and Intermediate Life Support level which will result in an impact of only 1,4%.
“As the festive seasons are fast approaching, the department would have loved to have all hands on deck in order to deal with any emergency cases that will require any level of EMS response.
“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.
In terms of the Health Professions Act, a practitioner who does not hold a current registration and maintain this status are not allowed to continue practicing in such a profession and also conducting clinical work as that will amount to the breach of their regulatory requirements and employment contracts.
The Department plans to continue the audit into the registration status of various health professionals and any other professionals that require registration with the applicable regulatory body.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney