'Bogus optician' arrested after practising for 15 years

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An alleged bogus optician has been arrested.
An alleged bogus optician has been arrested.
Mario Marco, Getty Images

  • An alleged bogus optician was busted in Vanderbijlpark at her practice on Friday.
  • The woman, who is not registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), has been operating for 15 years as an optician.
  • She is in custody and is expected to appear in court soon.

A woman is behind bars after being arrested in Vanderbijlpark on Friday for allegedly posing as an optician for 15 years.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa's (HPCSA) acting head of corporate affairs, Priscilla Sekhonyana, said the suspect had been operating an optical laboratory for 15 years cutting, fitting and dispensing spectacles while not registered with the council as an optician.

Sekhonyana said the HPCSA's Inspectorate Office in collaboration with the Vanderbijlpark Crime Prevention Unit had conducted an operation at her practice where she was arrested.

READ | 'Bogus' doctor released on bail, warned not to practise or contact patients

"She was arrested for fraud and contravention of Section 17[1] of the Health Professions Act, 56 of 1974 and detained at the Vanderbijlpark police station. The council is pleading with the public to verify the status of the practitioners before consulting.

"The HPCSA is concerned about the disregard bogus healthcare practitioners have for the law as some continue posing as healthcare practitioners, endangering the lives of members of the public.

"The HPCSA is continuously strengthening its effort to eradicate illegal practices run by unregistered persons."

Sekhonyana advised the public the verification of medical practitioners could be done through the i-Register on the HPCSA's website, by calling its call centre or requesting the practitioners' practicing card which should have the current year's date.

"Members of the community are encouraged to continue reporting all suspicious and illegal practices by unregistered persons.

"The council welcomes tip-offs at any of our HPCSA offices across the country. The Inspectorate Office is based at the council's head office in Pretoria, with regional offices in Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth," she added.

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