VOORDELE VIR VERWYSINGS

Baie dankie vir jou lojale ondersteuning van Focus on Health die afgelope aantal jare. Ons waardeer dit BAIE!

Ons gee nou vir ‘n beperkte tyd vir ons mees lojale lede eerste die geleentheid om hulle CPD gratis te doen deur nuwe lede na ons te verwys.

Wanneer jy in die toekoms iemand na ons toe verwys, maak seker dat ons kennis neem dat jy die verwysing gedoen het. Vir elke 15-punt CPD-lid (SDR, tandarts-assistant, ambulans-assistant) wat jy verwys kry jy R50.00 krediet. Vir elke 30-punt CPD-lid (radiografis, tandarts, spesialis, algemene praktisyn, sielkundige, fisioterapeut, biokinetikus) wat jy verwys ontvang jy R100.00 krediet. Indien jy ‘n radioloog verwys, ontvang jy R125.00 krediet.

Jy ontvang hierdie krediet solank as wat daardie persoon lid is van Focus en Health en sy rekening op datum is. Deur in te teken op ons aanlyn platform sal jy ook kan sien wie jy almal verwys het. Tussen 6 – 12 verwysings sal dus verseker dat jou CPD gratis is.

Jy het oor die afgelope aantal jare waarskynlik reeds verwysings gedoen. Baie dankie daarvoor. Dit is egter nou eers vir ons moontlik om ‘n inisiatief soos hierdie administratief suksesvol te hanteer.

Ons glo in ons harte dat CPD gratis kan wees en hierdie is net een van die inisiatiewe wat ons neem om dit moontlik te maak. Sien hierdie ook as ‘n langer termyn plan van aksie vir jou.

Al verwys jy net twee persone per jaar, kan jy nog steeds uiteindelik jou CPD gratis doen.

Vanaf 1 Augustus 2015 sal hierdie inisiatief aan al ons lede gebied word.

Gerieflikheidshalwe sluit ons skakels in na aansoekvorms vir lidmaatskap van al die beroepe vir wie ons CPD aanbied.

Vir enige verdere navrae epos ons gerus op (safocus@iafrica.com) OF kontak ons gedurende kantoor ure (012-653 2394 / 0133)

Groete
Die FoH-span

Dear Focus on Health Members

We trust that you had a most enjoyable and restful festive holiday and that you will be graced in this new year with renewed strength, fresh ideas, an abundance of laughter, good health and spirits, love and kindness for all and that your work will be a blessing to you and all the patients that you help this year. May you prosper in your work and in your personal life and may 2015 be the year where every day counts. Each minute that passes is a minute of your life that you will never be able to retrieve again. Enjoy the year and special thanks for being part of the Focus on Health family. We are looking forward to attending to all your CPD requirements. And remember there is nothing more true than being your real authentic self. Let your light shine bright in 2015!

One way of countering the effects of a postal strike (which may affect again very soon) is to have all 15/30 points for 2015 ready at once. But, while we are busy sourcing and accrediting the activities we have the ethics and a general activity ready for the reason that the HPCSA has sent out letters for an audit due in Feb 2015.

We also include a guideline as to when you may expect your full set of CPD activities:

Psychology 31 March 2015 & 30 June 2015
Dental Assistants 30 April 2015
Dentists 31 May 2015
Oral Hygienists 31 May 2015
Physiotherapy 31 March 2015 & 30 June 2015

Activities in Professional Ethics

We provide a very interesting and relevant articles in this category; waking up during an operation and if it is ethical if the anaesthetist then injects you with a drug that will erase any memories of this.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION NUMBER OF CEU’S
Activity One – GE1(15) Anaesthesia, amnesia and harm 4 Ethics CEU’s
TOTAL CEU’S 4 ETHICS CEU’s

Activities in General

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION NUMBER OF CEU’S
Activity One – G1(15) Why is it so difficult to loose weight? 2 General CEU’s

Online CPD

Why not complete your answer sheet online?

Remember that you can use our online facility JUST to complete your answer sheets. You don’t have to fax it to us, wait for a confirmation, give us a call or cope with the effects of power outages. Just log in, capture your answers and your Individual CPD Activity Record (IAR) is immediately populated with your results.

If you fax your answer sheet(s) look out for a confirmatory sms from us. If you do not receive such an sms, please fax your answer sheets again.

Postal strike

When the post office strikes again you have a few options:

  • If you would like to receive your CPD activities via COURIER for R40.00; please provide us with a physical address where someone will be available during office hours to receive your CPD activities.
  • You can notify us to send the next set of activities via this email campaign again.
  • You may also just wait until the strike is over.

Payment and cancellation policy

Should your account be in arrears answer sheets will NOT be assessed. Accounts continually in arrears can also lead to us requesting the blacklisting of the account holder.

For paid up accounts and referrals, we reciprocate by offering a discount on annual fees as well as credits to accounts.

Please remember that we require written notice of cancellation and that a three – month notice period applies. In all cases your account will be seen as active without such a notice of cancellation.

Kind regards,

Shelley Schouten
FOH Team Leader

July 2014

CERTIFICATE OF NEED

After consultation with affected stakeholders and pressure imposed by various provider groups, the Director-General of Health has announced that the proclamation enacting the sections of the National Health Act related to certificates of need would be withdrawn. The Director-General advised, however, that the process relating to the preparation of relevant Regulations would continue. It was therefore likely that these sections would again be implemented once the Regulations were in place.

SINGLE EXIT PRICE (SEP)

The Minister of Health has advised that not all stakeholders were satisfied with the extent to which medicine prices have been adjusted annually. However, he had to ensure that price adjustments took account of the availability, affordability and quality of medicines. The Minister would therefore like to review the use of the current formula as a reference guide for making a recommendation on the determination of the extent to which medicine prices could be adjusted on an annual basis. Interested parties were invited to provide comments on alternative methodologies for adjusting medicine prices for 2015 in the following areas:

  • The feasibility of establishing a single exit price (SEP) inflator for fully imported generic products, locally produced generic products and originator medicines; and
  • The formula used as a reference guide in making a recommendation in respect of the extent to which medicine prices might be adjusted on an annual basis.

DEMARCATION REGULATIONS

National Treasury has advised that the comment date for the draft Demarcation Regulations has been extended to 31 July 2014. It has also published a list of frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to the draft Regulations. It was stated that the envisaged finalisation date for the draft Demarcation. Regulations was October 2014.

ROAD ACCIDENT BENEFIT SCHEME BILL

The Department of Transport and the Board of the Road Accident Fund have extended the comment period in respect of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill, the draft Regulations and draft Rules for a further 90 days from 8 July 2014.

HPCSA GUILTY VERDICTS

CATEGORIES OF COMPLAINTS TYPES OF COMPLAINTS PENALTIES
Accounts (Medical Scheme Fraud)
  • Rendering inaccurate accounts
  • R10 000 fine
  • R50 000 fine of which R40 000 suspended for 3 years and suspension from practice for 3 years of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • Suspended for 6 months of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • R10 000 fine of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000
Advertising
  • Unprofessional advertising on the internet
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000
Charging for services not provided
  • Charging for prescription spectacles not provided and failed to provide the correct prescription spectacles
  • Charged for medicines not dispensed
  • Caution and reprimand and payment of R1 500 to complainant and had to attend 2 ethics lectures
  • R10 000 fine
  • R50 000 fine of which R40 000 suspended for 3 years and suspension from practice for 3 years of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • R30 000 fine of which R15 000 suspended for 3 years
  • R10 000 fine of which the operation was suspended for 3 years Suspended for periods ranging from 6 months to 3 years of which the operation was suspended for periods ranging from 3 to 5 years
Commission
  • Paying commission to entity selling services rendered by the practice online
  • Paid commission for referrals
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000
  • R20 000 fine of which R10 000 suspended for 3 years

 

Correspondence from HPCSA
  • Failure to respond to HPCSA’s correspondence requiring an explanation pursuant to a complaint
  • Admission of Guilt Fines ranging from R10 000 to R15 000
Failure to provide adequate care
  • Failure to assess a patient timeously after being informed of her deterioration after a laparoscopic gastric bypass operation
  • Failure to recognize complications
  • Assessment and care of patient inadequate
  • Failure to provide adequate and appropriate care, treat patient timeously and broke patient’s tooth during treatment
  • Provided inadequate treatment to fractured elbow
  • Failure to pursue reasonable clinical treatment
  • Liposuction: Inadequate postoperative care and premature discharge
  • Prepared report without proper investigations
  • Operated on the wrong finger
  • Failure to monitor patient properly and provided insufficient care
  • Caution
  • Caution and reprimand
  • Fines ranging from R5 000 to R7 500
  • Suspension from practice for periods ranging between 6 months to 5 years of which the operation was suspended for periods ranging between 2 to 5 years
  • Admission of Guilt Fines ranging from R10 000 to R50 000
Fee-sharing
  • Practitioner shared fees with a non-professional
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000
Fraud
  • Pleaded guilty on charges of fraud
  • 5 years suspension of which the operation was suspended for 5 years
Informed Consent
  • Performed laparotomy with-out patient’s consent
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R20 000
Laboratory
  • Failure to conduct laboratory without qualified staff and without providing qualified supervision
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R15 000
Medical Certificates
  • Issued fraudulent medical certificate
  • Altered dates on sick note when approached by employer
  • R10 000 fine
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R7 500
Medicine
  • Prescribed medicine for which patient was allergic
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R20 000
Mobile Practice
  • Conducted mobile practice which was not registered at the Board
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R50 000
Over-charging
  • Practitioner over-charged for services rendered
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R15 000
Patient records
  • Failure to take adequate notes and/or document findings subsequent to a consultation
  • Failure to keep proper patient records
  • Reprimand
  • R10 000 fine
Practising whilst suspended
  • Practitioner practised whilst being suspended from the register
  • Caution
Referrals
  • Failure to refer patient
  • Referred patient to a person/wellness centre not registered at the HPCSA
  • Reprimand
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R50 000
Stationery
  • Professional stationery included misleading statements about qualifications and training
  • 1 year suspension of which the operation was suspended for 5 years
Unregistered person
  • Employed unregistered person who consulted patients
  • R10 000 fine

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Private Healthcare Inquiry Panel has issued a “Call for Submissions” to all those who wish to participate in the Market Inquiry. The Call for Submissions comes after the Panel, having considered public comment, finalised and published the Administrative Timetable, Statement of Issues and Guidelines for Participation.

The invitation to all stakeholders to make full submissions to the Panel is another key milestone in the Inquiry, which is now entering its crucial investigative phase. The Panel urges participants to make full and detailed submissions at the outset, and looks forward to the same level of interest and cooperation that has been demonstrated to date.

The Panel is particularly interested in submissions on the key issues identified in the Statement of Issues, read with the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry.

The matters identified in the Statement of Issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Factors driving costs, prices and expenditure in private healthcare;
  • Market power and distortions of competition at various levels of the sector;
  • Barriers to entry and expansion by firms at various levels of the sector;
  • Factors limiting access by consumers to private healthcare, including affordability;
  • Imperfect information as it affects consumers as well as firms in the sector;
  • The impact of the regulatory framework (including various statutes, regulations and rules) on competition in private healthcare;
  • The specific impact of interventions previously made by the competition authorities in regard to the healthcare sector;
  • The interaction between the public and private healthcare sectors.

“We are encouraged by the level of interest and participation in the Inquiry thus far and would like to urge all those affected by the Inquiry to familiarise themselves with these documents, and to take this opportunity to engage fully and openly with the Inquiry” said Clint Oellermann, Inquiry Director.

Full details, including the documents and forms, can be accessed on the Competition Commission and Health Market Inquiry websites. Written Submissions can be e-mailed to submissions@healthinquiry.net

The closing date for full submissions is 31 October 2014.

June 2014

CERTIFICATE OF NEED

The Department of Health has recently commenced with a consultation process with stakeholders affected by the Certificate of Need (CoN) legislation. It transpired at the meeting with the Director-General of Health and other senior officials in the Department of Health (DoH) that the Regulations that were required to support the legislative provisions had not been prepared to date. Furthermore, there was not agreement on the interpretation of the relevant sections in the National Health Act. It also appeared that the DoH wanted to use the CoN legislation to address the disease burden in South Africa, most notably maternal and child mortality, tuberculosis and HIV & AIDS.

It was stated by the Director-General that the process was not intended to be adversarial and invited stakeholders to make submissions in respect of the content of the Regulations.

Since a province such as the Western Cape already had a similar process in place, albeit mainly for hospitals and hospital based facilities, consultation also had to occur with the provinces to ensure alignment of the various pieces of legislation. It was therefore expected that the process that would be followed to finalise the Regulations could still take a fairly long time. In the meantime the 2-year period during which existing practices had to obtain CoNs started running on 1 April 2014. However, there was currently no process in place that would allow for practitioners to apply for a CoN.

HPCSA DENOUNCES CANCELLATION FEES

Although the Medical and Dental Professions Board (MDB) of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) approved the policy of the SA Medical Association in 2001, which allowed for medical and dental practitioners to charge fees for appointments not kept, a recent note on the HPCSA’s Blog advised that this practice was in breach of the Council’s Ethical Rules. The specific Ethical Rule related to the fact that practitioners were not allowed to charge or receive fees for services not personally rendered except for services rendered by an employed practitioner, partner, shareholder or locum. This ruling came despite the fact that the Consumer Protection Act also approved of the charging of cancellation fees in certain circumstances.

PRESCRIBED MINIMUM BENEFITS

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has published further editions of CmScript, which dealt with the level of care and related entitlements of medical scheme beneficiaries in respect of the prescribed minimum benefit (PMB) conditions, Multiple Sclerosis and HIV. In respect of Multiple Sclerosis a recent ruling of the Appeal Committee of the CMS on the interpretation of the relevant algorithm was also explained. The Appeal Committee had ruled that betainterferon qualified as PMB level of care in both frequent relapse and secondary progressive disease. The treatment and care for Multiple Sclerosis also included rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

ROAD ACCIDENT BENEFIT SCHEME BILL

The Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill 2014 as well as the draft Regulations and draft Rules in terms of this Bill were published in May for comment. The Bill provided for benefits in respect of road accidents to be paid on a no-fault basis. This meant that accident victims would qualify for benefits regardless of who caused the accident and benefits would not be reduced based on the victim’s “contributory negligence”. The current Road Accident Fund (RAF) would be replaced by a new administrator, the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator (RABSA) and would provide for a simpler and expedited claims process. Under the new scheme victims would be provided with a set of defined benefits in respect of the payment for health care services. RABSA would pay for all services reasonably required for the treatment and rehabilitation of accident victims. The Minister could prescribe a tariff for these services. The application of managed care tools such as protocol adherence, pre-authorisation and contracts with preferred providers were also contemplated. In addition, health practitioners would be able to claim payment for services directly from RABSA. The Bill still had to be tabled in parliament and complete a fairly lengthy parliamentary process before it would become law.

TRADITIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

Certain sections of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act were implemented on 1 May 2014. These related mainly to:

  • The establishment of the Interim Traditional Health Practitioners Council;
  • The appointment of a Registrar;
  • The determination of registration requirements for traditional health practitioners at the Council to be able to practise in the RSA, including the required qualifications and conditions relating to continuing education. According to the transitional period arrangements, practitioners had one year to become registered;
  • Complaints, inquiries, penalties and offences; and

The fees that could be charged, the rendering of accounts and related matters. Section 42 provided amongst other that:

  • A practitioner had to inform the patient (or the person responsible for the patient’s maintenance) of the fee he/she intended to charge for the traditional health services before rendering such services;
  • Where the practitioner claimed payment from any person (such as the patient), he/she had to furnish that person with a detailed account subject to the provisions of the Medical Schemes Act;
  • The patient could request the Council to determine the amount that should have been charged; and
  • The Council could determine and publish fees that would be used as a norm for the determination of amounts that should have been charged for services.

PHARMACY DISPENSING FEES

The Minister of Health has, on the recommendation of the Pricing Committee, published draft pharmacy dispensing fees on 13 June 2014 for a 3-month comment period. The proposed fees were as follows:

CURRENT PHARMACY DISPENSING FEES PROPOSED NEW PHARMACY DISPENSING FEES (JUNE 2014)
Single Exit Price (SEP) Maximum Dispensing Fee Single Exit Price (SEP) Proposed Maximum Dispensing Fee (Excl of VAT)
SEP<R81 R6.30 + 46% of SEP SEP<R85.70 R6.95 + 46% of SEP
R81 =SEP<R216 R16 + 33% of SEP R85.70 =SEP<R228.53 R18.55 + 33% of SEP
R216=SEP<R756 R55 + 15% of SEP R228.53=SEP<R790.85 R59 + 15% of SEP
SEP=R756 R131 + 5% of SEP SEP=R790.85 R140 + 5% of SEP

May 2014

CERTIFICATE OF NEED

The sections of the National Health Act regarding the requirement of a certificate of need by health establishments were implemented on 1 April 2014. “Health establishments” included for example medical and dental practices. Certificates of need were required to:

  • Establish, construct, modify or acquire a health establishment or health agency;
  • Increase the number of beds in or acquire prescribed health technology at a health establishment or health agency; or
  • Provide prescribed health services.

The technology and health services would be prescribed by Regulation. Certificates of need would be valid for a prescribed period, which might not exceed 20 years and would be issued by the Director-General of Health. A decision of the Director-General could be appealed to the Minister of Health. The Director-General had to take the following matters into account when issuing or renewing a certificate of need:

  • The need to ensure consistency of health services development in terms of national, provincial and municipal planning;
  • The need to promote an equitable distribution and rationalisation of health services and health care resources and to correct inequities based on racial, gender, economic and geographical factors;
  • The need to promote an appropriate mix of public and private health services;
  • The demographics and epidemiological characteristics of the population to be served;
  • The potential advantages and disadvantages for existing public and private health services and for any affected communities;
  • The need to protect or advance persons or categories of persons designated in terms of the Employment Equity Act within the emerging small, medium and micro-enterprise sector;
  • The potential benefits of research and development with respect to the improvement of health service delivery;
  • The need to ensure that ownership of facilities did not create perverse incentives for health service providers and health workers;
  • The quality of health services rendered by the applicant in the past, if applicable;
  • The probability of the financial sustainability of the health establishment or health agency;
  • The need to ensure the availability and appropriate utilisation of human resources and health technology;
  • Whether the private health establishment was for profit or not; and
  • Compliance with the requirements of a certificate or non-compliance, if applicable.

There were no Regulations in place to support these provisions. The Act made provision for Regulations to be issued by the Minister in respect of:

  • The requirements for the issuing or renewal of a certificate of need;
  • The requirements for a certificate of need for health establishments and health agencies existing at as well as those coming into being after the time of commencement of the relevant sections of the National Health Act;
  • Any other relevant matter relating to the granting of a certificate of need; and
  • The inspection and administration of health establishments and health agencies.

The Regulations had to:

  • Ensure the equitable distribution and rationalisation of health, with special regard to vulnerable groups such as woman, older persons, children and people with disabilities;
  • Prescribe the formats and procedures to be used in applications for the issuing and renewal of certificates of need and the information that had to be submitted with such applications;
  • Ensure and promote access to health services and the optimal utilisation of health care resources, with special regard to vulnerable groups such as woman, older persons, children and people with disabilities;
  • Ensure compliance with the provisions of the National Health Act and national operational norms and standards for the delivery of health services;
  • Seek to avoid or prohibit business practices or perverse incentives, which adversely affected the costs or quality of health services or the access of users to health services;
  • Avoid or prohibit practices, schemes or arrangements by health care providers or health establishments that directly or indirectly conflicted with, violated or undermined good ethical and professional practice; and
  • Ensure that the quality of health services provided by health establishments and health agencies conformed to the prescribed norms and standards.

The Regulations could also prescribe the fees payable in respect of the applications for the issuing and renewal of certificates of need.

Existing health establishments had to obtain certificates of need within 24 months. Health establishments that operated without such certificates would commit an offence for which the penalties were a fine and/or imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years.

HPCSA VERDICTS

The HPCSA has made the following verdicts regarding matters of professional conduct by registered practitioners during the period January to March 2014:

CATEGORIES OF COMPLAINTS TYPES OF COMPLAINTS PENALTIES
CLAIMING FOR SERVICES NOT RENDERED / INACCURATE ACCOUNTS
  • Claiming for procedures and/or medicine from patients / medical schemes that were not performed / dispensed
  • Irregular claims and incorrect tariff codes
  • Suspension from practice for periods ranging from 6 months to 3 years of which the operation was suspended for variable periods
  • Fines of R5 000 or R10 000 often together with a suspension from practice of which the operation was suspended for variable periods
  • Admission of Guilt Fines ranging from R8 000 to R20 000
  • Caution and reprimand
FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE CARE
  • Failure to recognise and act on complications subsequent to an operation
  • Failure to provide adequate (post-operative) care
  • Failure to care for critically ill patient, follow up on test results and attend to patient in ICU
  • Failure to assess and/or examine patient adequately
  • Failure to consider differential diagnosis in pre-operative assessment, abandonment of patient in care of other attendants, prohibition on transport of patient by ambulance and failure to follow patient up at another hospital
  • Fines ranging between R7 500 and R35 000
  • Admission of Guilt Fines of R10 000
  • Suspension from practice for 12 months of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
FAILURE TO OBTAIN INFORMED CONSENT
  • Failure to obtain informed financial consent for care and procedures to be performed
  • Treatment of minor children without consent of parent
  • Quotation to patient was for routine procedure and did not indicate that additional charges could apply to unscheduled / emergency procedure
  • Fines of R5 000
  • Admission of Guilt Fines ranging from R5 000 to R10 000
  • Caution
DISPENSED INAPPROPRIATE MEDICATION
  • Dispensing of inappropriate medication for children under the age of 12 years
  • Dispensed expired medicine
  • R100 000 or 10 years, of which the operation of 50% was suspended for 5 years
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R5 000
BREACHING PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY
  • Divulging of confidential patient information without written consent from patient
  • Breached patient confidentiality by faxing test results to patient’s workplace
  • Admission of Guilt Fines of R10 000
MULTIPLE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT MATTERS
  • Breached confidential relationship
  • Statements in letter to prosecutor not based on sufficient information
  • Did not state limitations and/or potential bias of findings
  • Deserted patients – did not continue with therapy
  • Omission of registered profession on letterhead
  • Entered into multiple relationships with patients e.g. marital and family therapist
  • Suspended from practice for 2 years of which the operation was suspended for 3 years and practitioner had to attend Ethics course and submit proof of compliance
OVERSERVICING
  • Over-servicing
  • Fine of R50 000 and suspended 12 months from practice of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
SPLIT-BILLING AND PRE-PAYMENT OF FEES
  • Split-billing
  • Split-billing (which included charging of an administrative fee) and collected fees upfront
  • Fine of R10 000 and suspension from practice for 2 years of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000
UNREGISTERED PRACTITIONERS
  • Locum not registered at HPCSA
  • Employed unregistered person and allowed unregistered locum to sign documents on practitioner’s behalf
  • Allowed patient to be treated unknown person
  • Fines ranging from R5 000 to R15 000
  • R20 000 fine and suspension from practice for 12 months of which operation was suspended for 5 years
UNLICENSED RESEARCH
  • Conducted unlicensed research and did not obtain consent of hospital manager
  • Caution and reprimand
PATIENT COMMUNICATION
  • Failure to communicate with patient in a polite and professional manner
  • Communicated to patient in disrespectful / rude manner or which amounted to verbal abuse
  • Suspension from practice for 12 months of which the operation was suspended for 3 years
  • Admission of Guilt Fines ranging from R5 000 to R20 000
SEXUAL HARASSMENT
  • Sexual and verbal harassment
  • Fine of R50 000 and suspended from practice for 2 years of which the operation was suspended for 5 years and to be subjected to CPD audit
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
  • Misrepresented registered profession and acted outside scope of practice
  • Suspended from practice for 6 months of which operation was suspended for 12 months and had to attend Ethics course on scope of practice
POST MORTEM
  • Performed inadequate / incomplete post mortem resulting in incorrect cause of death
  • Caution and reprimand
CORRESPONDENCE FORM HPCSA
  • Did not respond to correspondence form HPCSA
  • Admission of Guilt Fine of R10 000

COMPETITION COMMISSION INQUIRY

The Health Inquiry into the Private Health Care Sector that was envisaged by the Competition Commission would probe the private health care sector holistically to determine the factors that restricted, prevented or distorted competition and underpinned increases in private health care prices and expenditure. Should there be features that would adversely affect competition, the Panel could make recommendations that could include new or amended policy, regulation or deregulation and an investigation of an alleged prohibited practice by a particular firm in terms of the Competition Act. The decision to initiate such an investigation would be made by the Competition Commission.

The chairperson of the Panel of the Inquiry, the former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, advised that the market inquiry would be investigative and inquisitorial in nature and not accusatorial. No one was accused of anti-competitive conduct. The focus would be on how the market as a whole functioned. The Inquiry Panel would gather evidence and insights into private health care through public hearings, review of secondary material, information requests, consultations and summons, as required. The provisions of the
Competition Act relating to confidential information would be applicable to the Market Inquiry. Persons submitting information to the Inquiry were entitled to claim confidentiality, which claims had to be accompanied by statements explaining why the information had to be kept confidential. Claims of confidentiality that were disputed would be determined by the Competition Tribunal. All valid claims of confidentiality would be protected from disclosure under the provisions of the Act.

Administrative Guidelines, which were aimed at facilitating the gathering of information and the conduct of the Inquiry, as well as a Statement of Issues, which would assist persons who would like to submit information to focus on the issues relevant to the Inquiry, would be published. The draft Guidelines and Statement of Issues were published on 30 May 2014 for comment. It was envisaged that the Inquiry would officially commence on 1 August 2014 and be concluded by November 2015.

The timelines for the Inquiry were as follows:

IMPORTANT DATES EVENTS
1/8/2014 Publish final Statement of Issues and Administrative Guidelines and Call for Submissions on subject matter of Inquiry
1/8/2014-30/10/2014 Receive submissions
1/11/2014-31/1/2015 Analysis of information
1/3/2015-30/4/2015 Public hearings
1/5/2015-31/7/2015 Analysis and targeted public hearings and information requests
October 2015 Publish provisional findings and recommendations

DISPENSING FEE REVISED

OLD DISPENSING FEES DISPENSING FEES WITH EFFECT FROM 3 APRIL 2014
Single Exit Price (SEP) Maximum Dispensing Fee (Excl of VAT) Single Exit Price (SEP) Maximum Dispensing Fee (Excl of VAT)
=R90 30% of SEP =R103 30% of SEP
>R90 R27 >R103 R30.90

A notice had to be clearly displayed in the dispensing practice, informing the members of the public of the maximum fee structure of that practice to determine the dispensing fee. Invoices that indicated the dispensing fee and single exit price (SEP) in respect of each medicine had to be provided.

MOBILE RADIOLOGY SERVICES

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has warned practitioners about suspicious mobile radiology practices. Apparently certain companies have purchased X-ray equipment for purposes of performing mobile radiology services. These companies were unable to obtain licences from the Radiation Control Directorate of the National Department of Health as they were not adequately qualified and trained to operate such machines. Hence they apparently made lucrative offers to practitioners in order to use their HPCSA numbers, thereby securing licences from Radiation Control. The Professional Board for Radiography and Clinical Technology was concerned about the possible unethical and unprofessional relationship that might emanate between the health care practitioners and the companies providing the services. Practitioners were advised to desist from giving or selling their HPCSA registration numbers or practice code numbers obtained from the Board of Healthcare Funders of SA (BHF) to others. Practitioners had to be cognisant of the fact that they were liable for all professional acts performed or taking place in their presence or absence when their professional numbers were used. Practitioners were requested to report any unethical practices to the HPCSA for further investigation.

MEDICAL SCHEME DEVELOPMENTS

The Registrar of Medical Schemes has confirmed mergers between Discovery Health Medical Scheme and Afrox Medical Aid Society (Afrox) as well as between Discovery Health Medical Scheme and PG Bison Medical Aid Society (PG Bison) from 1 May 2014.

Hosmed Medical Scheme was also recently placed under provisional curatorship as a result of governance concerns at the scheme. The Council for Medical Schemes has given the assurance that the claimspaying ability of Hosmed was not affected as a result of the appointment of the provisional curator