Professional Medical and Dental Societies object to discriminatory and exorbitant fee increase

On the 12th Of March 2021, the HPCSA convened an urgent special meeting to reconsider the budget approved in December 2020 “in consideration of the effect of the pandemic on practitioners”.

At this meeting, Council resolved not to increase the annual fees of the eleven (11) Professional Boards from the previous financial year except for the Medical and Dental Professions Board.”

On the 19th of March, the HPCSA gazetted an increase of annual fees for medical and dental practitioners at an astounding 15.3% increase from 2020. This after a 21.2% increase the year before.

This annual increase represents:

  1. An absolute disregard for the financial stress experienced by medical and dental professionals in the public and private sector through the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. Discriminatory and assumptive processes that assume medical and dental practitioners to be immune from the financial impact of this pandemic when compared to members related to other medical boards.
  3. A lack of recognition and appreciation by our National Regulator of the medical and dental practitioner fraternity’s dedication to the front-line fight of Covid-19 – having served our country despite the danger to our lives with many of our colleagues, friends and family having died in the line of duty.

We note our specific concern and disappointment at the contrast of the outward recognition and praise by the South African Government of WHO and SA taxpayer funded foreign medical practitioners working in South Africa over the COVID-19 pandemic. This compared to the lack of similar recognition of at least equivalent expertise, hard work and dedication of South African Medical and Dental practitioners who have, in fact, shouldered the real burden of healthcare to the nation.

 

We call on the Honourable South African President and Honourable Minister of Health to review this decision of the national regulator and apply the same consideration to Medical and Dental practitioners that has been applied to other professional boards.

It is vital for our medical community, already extremely financially and emotionally stretched, to believe in the support and recognition of our regulator and government.

 

Statement issued on behalf of: