Sonnet-Mari Brand was arrested for allegedly practising as a specialist pulmonologist despite not having a medical qualification. Picture: Supplied.
Sonnet-Mari Brand was arrested for allegedly practising as a specialist pulmonologist despite not having a medical qualification. Picture: Supplied.

Bogus Ekurhuleni ’specialist doctor’ busted for not having medical qualification

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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Johannesburg – A woman has been arrested for allegedly opening two “surgeries” and practising as a specialist pulmonologist – despite not having a medical qualification.

It’s not yet known how many people Sonnet-Mari Brand treated at her surgeries in Springs, Ekurhuleni but it was also discovered she was working at the Far East Rand Hospital despite her lack of qualifications.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)’s Eric Mphaphuli said information at their disposal was that Brand, from Cape Town, arrived in Gauteng in February.

Mphaphuli said it was further established Brand then opened two medical practices in Springs – one on 3rd Street and the other on Nigel Road.

It was only when someone tipped off the HPCSA that Brand could be a bogus doctor that they went to investigate.

Together with the Ekurhuleni East Cluster Crime Intelligence and the Springs SAPS, they went to her surgeries.

“The team discovered that Brand was practising as a specialist pulmonologist without any qualifications and is not registered with Council.

“It was found that she was fraudulently handing out prescriptions to patients to get schedule medication.

“However, both practices have subsequently shut down. Brand also stated that she had been performing consulting work at the Far East Rand Hospital and conducting house calls after hours.

“She has never been to medical school. For her to have been a specialist she should have first gone to medical school then studied further to be a specialist pulmonologist.”

Mphaphuli said Brand was arrested while she was doing a house call to treat a patient.

“We also found that she was advertising for house calls using the details of a registered doctor,” Mphaphuli said.

Brand was arrested for contravening Section 17(1)(a) as well as Section 40 of the Health Professions Act.

She was released on R4 000 bail on Monday.

Mphaphuli said they were committed to eradicating bogus practitioners who falsely represent themselves and as a result damaged the reputation of the professionals who devoted themselves to the ethical practices.

He encouraged members of the community to continue to report all suspicious illegal practices by unregistered people.

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