South Africa: The Limpopo Department of Health regrets the decision it had to take to part ways with 21 Emergency Medical Officers.
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.
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 its employment.
46 more Emergency Medical Officers have also been requested to provide proof of their registration with the HPCSA to the department after the results of an audit on the registration status of EMS personnel were received from HPCSA, failing which their services may be terminated regrettably.
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.
After the termination of the 21 employees, the department will be 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 is not allowed to continue practising 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 will continue to audit the registration status of various health professionals and any other professionals that require registration with the applicable regulatory body. Both internally and in consultation with the various regulatory bodies, the registration status of various health professionals.