What you can expect after a complaint is made against you to the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA).
The AHPCSA’s complaint procedure is regulated by statute, namely the Allied Health Professions Act, 63 of 1982 (the Act).
How is the complaint made by the patient (complainant) ?
A complaint, charge or allegation of improper or unprofessional conduct against an Allied Health practitioner or Allied Health student has to be made in writing, preferably in Affidavit format and will be scanned and sent to the Registrar of AHPCSA.
The written response/Affidavit should be supported by any additional documents which will set out the conduct of the Allied Health Practitioner which the complainant/claimant believes was improper or unprofessional.
The complaint is submitted to the Registrar at the AHPCSA who is the official responsible for keeping a register of complaints and referring them to the Chairman of the Council.
The Chairman will then direct the Registrar –
- to call for further information from the complainant.
- to forward to the accused Allied Health Practitioner a copy of the Affidavit together with copies of the documents received from the complainant.
- to call upon the Allied Health Practitioner for a written response or explanation within a period of time.
- to refer the matter to the board.
It is important that you receive some assistance with your reply as your explanation may be used in evidence against you during a disciplinary inquiry which may follow once the Board has considered it.
Common mistakes we have seen practitioners make are:
- They do not put away time to deal with the reply. This leaves the reply lacking in detail.
- They do not put all facts in chronological order. This leaves the reader confused and seeking details on some certain events
occurring in between the dates provided.
- They repeat themselves because they want to communicate these frustrations and cannot find anything else to say which often
results in further queries as all of the allegations have not been answered to the point.
- They ask for extensions. Usually, the period of time within which to reply is about 2 months and therefore no extensions should be
necessary or requested.
- They use explanation marks when they are surprised or shocked about the accusations. Emotions get in the way of dealing with the
complaint logically and professionally.
At Genoa Underwriting Managers, our experts are trained to prepare responses which make sense, provide context, a general answer and give specific evidence. Please contact our legal experts for assistance to construct a concise but thorough reply sufficient for Board to make a determination at first read. Our claims team may be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the 010 286 1915 number
Once the reply is in
Once the Registrar has received your reply, he will submit the complainant’s complaint with your reply to the chairman.
If no reply is received, the registrar will report this to the chairman.
The chairman shall then make his recommendation on the matter, which, the registrar, together with all other documents concerning the case, shall refer to the board for consideration.
If the Professional Board, on the strength of the information submitted, resolves that the conduct forming the subject of the complaint or charge or allegation does not constitute improper or unprofessional conduct or should not be subjected to any inquiry, it will dismiss the complaint.
If the Professional Board resolves that the information submitted constitutes prima facie evidence of improper or unprofessional conduct the board will revert to the Registrar, through the Chairperson of the board, with its decision to hold an inquiry and the matter will then proceed on a date to advised.
Both parties will be advised by the Chairperson that they should be prepared to testify in a disciplinary inquiry.
While fines or penalties imposed by the AHPCSA are not covered by Genoa, these fines or penalties may be appealed. The good news is that Genoa offers cover for this up to R50 000.