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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.99 n.10 Pretoria Oct. 2009





Protecting the public and guiding the profession?

To the Editor: Boyce Mkhize's rather verbose attempt1 to refute Professor Van Niekerk's editorial2 seems a classic case of the lady protesting too much. It does, however, unintentionally highlight a key issue that has puzzled me since I sent my first cheque off to the then SAMDC.

The stated aim of the HPCSA is to protect the public and guide the profession. It is rarely seen to act out of concern for the best interests of the profession. Indeed, short of 'legitimising' the health professional, the purpose of the HPCSA has little concern for the welfare of the medical profession.

In light of the statutory aims of the HPCSA, none of the above is surprising. What is surprising is that health professionals are required to pay for the continued existence of this body. My experience of the HPCSA, which Mkhize's letter in no way dispels, has invariably indicated an attitude of impolite and disrespectful arrogance.

Our colleagues in the public sector have recently taken the first steps in reclaiming their rightful position. It would be quite within our power as a profession to follow suit and call the de-registering bluff of an organisation that has now clearly become our enemy.

As a medical specialist I contribute a hefty R1 153 annual fee to the HPCSA. The very least it can do in return is to change its ethos to 'Guiding the public and protecting the profession'.


P W L Groenveld

Honeydew, Gauteng


1. Mkhize B. HPCSA: A mess in the Health Department's pocket (Correspondence). S Afr Med J 2009; 99: 484, 486, 488.         [ Links ]

2. Van Niekerk JP. HPCSA: A mess in the Health Department's pocket. S Afr Med J 2009; 99: 203.         [ Links ]

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