The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is today revealing registration irregularities within the council after a foreign qualified neurosurgeon, who has never met the requirements for registration, was registered with the council.
The Council received an enquiry regarding the professional competency of Dr Nyunyi Wambuyi Katumba in August 2011 and started investigating the matter. The regulator requested the practitioner on numerous occasions to submit documentation to ensure the council has evidence that he acquired and completed the required training for registration as a Neurosurgeon.
As the practitioner failed to comply with the requirements, the Executive Committee of the Medical and Dental Professions Board took a decision to erase his name from the Register in December 2011. The HPCSA also informed the CEO and Head of Department of Neurosurgery at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital of the Council's decision to erase Dr Katumba.
As the Regulator is an open and transparent organisation, the HPCSA started with an internal investigation into the matter and can make the following information available:
It is evident from the above that:
"A number of procedural and system errors occurred with both registration processes", Dr Kgosi Letlape, Acting Registrar and CEO said.
"As we have erred in our mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions, I would like to reassure the public that their safety is a priority for the HPCSA and we will continue to ensure dubious professionals do not bring the highly esteemed profession into disrepute by acting swiftly and decisively."
"However, subsequent to this registration, a number of verification systems have been implemented to ensure a satisfactory level of quality assurance during registration, including a double verification process. I must also stress that this is one step in an ongoing cycle of quality assurance and improvement strategy to ensure that our future processes become more stream-lined and tightened."
Consequently all stakeholders should be aware that henceforth the process of registering with the HPCSA will take longer as we need to ensure that only qualified practitioners are registered and are allowed to practice in our country. To all foreign qualified practitioners who want to work in SA, please understand the reason for ensuring all requirements are adhered and be patient as we process your request.
"The council is also investigating possible complicity from staff and any guilty person(s) will be held accountable. There is no place for fraudulent activities. Collusion between staff and practitioners will be severely dealt with."
(HPCSA, Media release, January 2012)