Hundreds of practitioners, public and private, from dentists to counsellors, filled the centre hoping to leave with more health-care knowledge.
The HPCSA guides and regulates health practitioners in South Africa on aspects pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing professional development and fostering compliance with health-care standards.
Doctors, professors and managers were among those who spoke about practitioner impairment, ethics using social media, the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.
Dr Munyadziwa Kwinda, HPCSA ombudsman and acting chief operating officer, said the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, the NHI Bill and Health Market Inquiry were interlinked.
“They are going to affect all of us, especially you as practitioners, whether you work for the state or for your own account,” Kwinda said.
He said the bills were published in the Government Gazette on June 21 and were open for public comment until September.
“Now there is a very good link between the NHI Bill and giving more powers to the Council for Medical Schemes in terms of defining the parameters,” he said.
“As HPCSA we will not be against the NHI Bill because that is now in terms of Section 27 where the state needs to put reasonable measures to ensure access to health-care services for all the citizens, and that is what the NHI is trying to achieve,” he explained.
He also said the NHI could be described as subsidisation where the rich would provide for the poor. Those with medical aid would end up paying twice, for medical aid and the NHI.
Earlier, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, of the HPCSA Ethics and Human Rights Committee and Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, spoke on ethics regarding practitioners using social media.
“All patients are entitled to dignity and privacy, which are both enshrined in the constitution. Interaction between health-care practitioners and their patients on social media can blur the boundaries of the professional practitioner-patient relationship.
“Even if the health-care practitioner uses social media in their personal capacity, their online activity may bring the profession into disrepute,” he said.