Doctor In Hot Soup Over Bogus Congo Stand-In

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) says it will act against its member, Dr. NM Phoba, for allowing an unregistered Congolese national to stand in for her.

The anomaly was exposed after the inspectorate office in collaboration with the police checked the bona fide of health practitioners in Kwaguqa, Mpumalanga Province.

Henri Kabenga, a Congolese national, was found to be unlawfully practicing as a doctor at the Grace Medical Practice in Vosman, Mpumalanga.

“Kabenga was arrested for contravening Section 17(1) of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 as he is not registered with the council,” said the HPCSA.

The stand-in for Dr. Phoba, who herself is properly registered with the HPCSA, was arrested by the Hawks – SA’s elite crime busters – on Friday.

“Dr. Phoba will be reported to the relevant professional board for her unprofessional conduct,” said the HPCS.

Registration with the HPCSA is a prerequisite for doctors in professional practice in South Africa and is also a legal requirement.

The HPCSA said it was “once again cautioning practitioners to verify the status of the locums they employ with the council”.

The council warned that unregistered locums pose a serious risk to the public.

It urged local doctors to first check the bona fide of stand-in staff before they engage them.

The Hawks said the 37-year-old suspect appeared in the Vosman Magistrate’s Court facing a charge of fraud and corruption.