File picture: Independent Media

Pretoria - Johannesburg authorities arrested eight practitioners who were found to be practising illegally during a raid on a medical centre, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) said on Thursday.

The HPCSA said that during an inspection at the Lister Medical Centre in Johannesburg, eight practitioners were arrested for practising illegally. 

The inspection was conducted in collaboration with the Medicines Control Council, the Road Traffic Management Corporation, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Medscheme and Discovery Health.

HPCSA spokesperson Daphney Chuma said two men were arrested for practising as practitioners, whilst not registered with the council, one as a dentist and the other as a dental therapist. 

Chuma said they were practising under the name and practice number of another doctor who is registered with the HPCSA.

Another of the arrested doctors was practising, despite being suspended from the HPCSA register since 2011 for non-payment of annual fees.

Chuma said two women who are not registered with the HPCSA were found practising as radiographers at the practice of a doctor who is registered with the council.

"A case was opened against both practitioners and they were released with a warning," Chuma said.

A bogus practitioner was found to be practising under the name and registration of a doctor registered with the HPCSA, she said. 

"At a previous inspection that took place on 26 September 2017, in Vereeniging, [he] was found practising at the practice of [a doctor] registered with the HPCSA where he was able to escape. However, this time around, he was arrested."

The HPCSA also found two Congolese nationals who are bogus practitioners practising as a medical practitioners. 

"[The woman] was found to be practising under the name and registration details of [a registered doctor], however, she managed to escape from the premises during the operation."

The man was arrested along with another man who was also a bogus practitioner practising under the name and registration details of a registered doctor.

Chuma said all the arrested people were taken into custody at Johannesburg Central police station.

"The HPCSA is stern on ensuring that illegal practitioners do not practise and put the lives of the public at risk. The HPCSA is warning those practitioners registered with Council to refrain from employingand allowing unregistered practitioners to utilise their practice rooms whilst unregistered with council, said Chuma.

"The HPCSA further warns bogus practitioners to refrain from masquerading as healthcare practitioners as this has dire consequences to the public. The public is also advised of the dangers of consulting with unlicensed practitioners."