THE Eastern Cape health department has put 309 ambulance drivers on unpaid leave for failing to renew their registration with the Health Professions Council of SA, an official said yester day.
"Of the just more than 2000 ambulance drivers, 309 have been found to have not registered with the HPCSA ... they were put on unpaid leave until they come back with proof of payment," provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.
Out of the 309, a group of 70 "would be on unpaid leave for a long period" because they had never registered with the council. "They will have to start afresh with registrations," he said.
Their failure to renew their licences meant they were transporting patients illegally, rendering the department liable to litigation.
"This illegal practice and gross negligence by the drivers cannot be tolerated. Decisive action against all those involved is imminent."
Registration was a requirement before employment and it was the drivers' responsibility to keep their registration up-to-date. - Sapa