MEC promises stricter screening when hiring after another 'fake doctor' bust

The KZN health department says it will review its internal processes after a 24-year-old man was arrested in Babanango, northern KZN, on Monday morning for posing as a doctor.
The KZN health department says it will review its internal processes after a 24-year-old man was arrested in Babanango, northern KZN, on Monday morning for posing as a doctor.
Image: 123RF/SAMSONOVS

The KwaZulu-Natal department of health has called on its hospitals to enforce stricter screening when taking on medical staff, after a second bogus medical worker was arrested in the province on Monday.

On Monday SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE reported that a 24-year-old man had been arrested for fraud after allegedly posing as a doctor and disappearing with R40,000 belonging to colleagues at a hospital in north KwaZulu-Natal.

In a statement on Wednesday the department commended the CEO of Nkonjeni Hospital in Zululand for alerting authorities to the man who posed as a fifth-year medical student conducting his elective module of family medicine. According to the department he had also produced a student card.

“According to hospital management, he never worked without supervision, and was also not allowed to prescribe medication. The 24-year-old man, who has been charged with fraud, was arrested after police received a complaint about his alleged disappearance with R40,000 that he had borrowed from various Nkonjeni hospital staffers,” said the department.

Transnet's Phelophepa health-care train has made its way to Gauteng for the first time in its 26 years of operation due to the spike of Covid-19 cases in the province. The train, which brings health-care to the doorsteps of vulnerable communities, had previously travelled to every province in South Africa except Gauteng.

The department also mentioned Nokwanda Dlamini who was arrested after posing as a doctor in July.

After the recent incident, health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has written to all district directors and health institutions, instructing them to stop the direct intake of students.

“We’re obviously concerned by these incidents. That is why, even after the first incident, we started reviewing our own internal processes that are followed when admitting these students,” she said. “We realise that in a quest to make the process easier and not too bureaucratic for students who need to do their practicals during the holidays, our systems might have had loopholes, which criminals have evidently tried to exploit.

“We are now changing our systems so that they are watertight. We cannot, in any circumstances, allow any unqualified person to have access to our patients.”

TimesLIVE


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