HPCSA removes interns from hospital

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) had removed four Interns from the Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad, following a recent evaluation by the Regulator regarding the internship training conducted at the Hospital. 

The evaluation team found that the standards of training were inadequate and the Interns have been moved to the Bongani Hospital.  No Interns will also be allocated to the Boitumelo Hospital in 2012. 

According to the Regulations of the Health Professions Act, Interns are allocated to facilities with a specific accreditation, which requires them to work in a specific facility under direct supervision.  They are excluded from working outside of this facility and may also not work in private practice, irrespective of whether they are paid or not. 

“Although we are aware of the shortage of doctors at the hospital, Interns are still in training and it is critical that they receive the necessary guidance and supervision from a practitioner with at least three years’ post-internship experience in a specific domain”, Ms Marella O’Reilly, Acting CEO and Registrar said. 

The HPCSA is mandated to set, maintain and apply healthcare standards for the training of practitioners to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care. 

The Council also deems the employment of an Intern to act as a locum as a very serious offence and employers who employ these junior medical doctors (whether they receive compensation or not) will be held liable.  The HPCSA will press charges against them and the practitioners concerned. (HPCSA/ April 2011)

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