Queues at Groote Schuur P4 parking level, where staff from private hospitals across Cape Town lined up to be vaccinated against Covid-19. | File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Queues at Groote Schuur P4 parking level, where staff from private hospitals across Cape Town lined up to be vaccinated against Covid-19. | File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town doctors’ family members allegedly posed as frontline health workers to get Covid-19 vaccine

By Lou-Anne Daniels Time of article published Mar 2, 2021

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Cape Town – Some Cape Town doctors have allegedly used underhanded tactics to help family members jump the vaccination queue.

The doctors took family members to be inoculated at Groote Schuur Hospital, where frontline medical workers are being vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Sources in the medical fraternity said some of the family members had documentation stating they were frontline healthcare workers even though they do not work in the medical field. Others are believed to be working in administrative positions within the doctors’ practices.

One of the doctors identified to IOL practises in Khayelitsha, and has denied the allegations. “I can categorically state that this is false. I played golf on Sunday morning and was alone when I went to Groote Schuur for my appointment (to be vaccinated),” he said.

Western Cape Health deputy director of communications, Mark van der Heever, confirmed to IOL his department was aware there had been instances where people had abused the system.

“The department took immediate action as soon as it became aware last week that some loopholes in the national electronic system could be exploited by people posing as healthcare workers,” Van der Heever said.

“To add an extra layer of security, we now request proof that an individual is a healthcare worker (either a work ID card or a Health Professionals Council registration number) in addition to ID at all vaccination sites.”

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has called for an investigation and reiterated the registration process for eligible health workers is privately managed despite the vaccination sites being at state hospitals.

“I have requested that the Department of Health investigate these serious allegations. The current process for the implementation study requires the department to provide the vaccination sites while the registration of private health workers is being separately managed by the private hospital and GP groups,” Winde said.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously and have also raised the matter with the researchers. If these allegations are true, this is a clear breach of protocol and unethical.”

IOL

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