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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

MBATHA, Nompumelelo; STREET, Renée A; NGCOBO, Mlungisi  and  GQALENI, Nceba. Sick certificates issued by South African traditional health practitioners: current legislation, challenges and the way forward. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.3, pp. 129-131. ISSN 0256-9574.

Traditional health practitioners (THPs) play a significant role the delayed establishment of the Interim THP Council, does not in South African healthcare. However, the Basic Conditions of relieve the employer's burden of 'illegitimate' medical certificates Employment Act (BCEA) does not consider sick notes issued by issued by THPs. While seen as a dilemma for some employers, THPs to be valid. This creates a dilemma for employees, whose others have accommodated African cultural beliefs and accept right to consult a practitioner of their choice is protected by the THP-issued sick notes. Finalising the Interim THP Council will Constitution. We assessed the current legislation and highlight the allow THP registration and oblige employers to honour sick notes challenges that employees face in selecting a healthcare system of issued by THPs. The empowerment of THPs to play a meaningful their choice. The services of THPs represent an untapped capacity role in healthcare delivery is of national importance. that can complement and strengthen healthcare services, especially in the workforce. The BCEA legislative technicality, coupled with the delayed establishment of the Interim THP Council, does not relieve the employer's burden of 'illegitimate' medical certificates issued by THPs. While seen as a dilemma for some employers, others have accommodated African cultural beliefs and accept THP-issued sick notes. Finalising the Interim THP Council will allow THP registration and oblige employers to honour sick notes issued by THPs. The empowerment of THPs to play a meaningful role in healthcare delivery is of national importance.

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