'We will suspend striking medics'

THE Health Professions Council of South Africa, which regulates all doctors practising in South Africa, says it will suspend or deregister those who plan to go on strike this week.

THE Health Professions Council of South Africa, which regulates all doctors practising in South Africa, says it will suspend or deregister those who plan to go on strike this week.

Boyce Mkhize, registrar and chief executive of the council, said yesterday it would "not tolerate neglect of patients by striking doctors who, by their conduct, are in effect breaking the law".

"Doctors provide an essential service and need to conduct themselves in accordance with certain ethical and professional rules.

"Failure to do this could lead to suspension or even permanent erasure from the register.

"Those who continue striking will have to bear the consequences of their actions."

The council is the statutory body that registers healthcare practitioners in South Africa. It can erase doctors from its register, making it impossible for them to practise in the country.

The council said it would "closely monitor" the threatened national strike by public service doctors, which began yesterday in KwaZulu-Natal.

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