The Health Professions Council of South Africa has suspended a Gqeberha-based medical doctor from practising medicine after he was found guilty of fraudulently issuing medical certificates required by drivers applying for Professional Driving Permits (PrDPs).
In a statement on Wednesday, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit (NTACU) and the Health Professions Council of South African arrested Dr Bongani Nqini in May 2019 following an investigation.
“The investigation was prompted by numerous complaints from members of the public who indicated that doctors in Zwide, Gqeberha were issuing medical certificates to members of the public without subjecting them to the necessary medical examinations.
“A member of NTACU, a unit of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, was assigned to obtain more information about the allegations,” RTMC said.
Acting as an undercover agent, the member went to the doctor’s rooms in Zwide on 14 May 2019 where he was given a sick note with five days leave without being examined.
He returned the following day, and he was given a medical certificate certifying that he was fit to apply for a PrDP without being subjected to the necessary physical examination.
The Health Professions Council of South Africa then initiated disciplinary action against Nqini and charged him with six counts of contravening the Health Professions Act 56 of 1979.
The doctor was found guilty on five counts and sentenced to a fine of R120 000 payable in six monthly instalments.
Nqini was further suspended from practising medicine for a period of three years wholly suspended for a period of five years on condition that he is not found guilty of a similar offence during the period of suspension.
The disciplinary committee found that the NTACU official who gave evidence against the doctor was “a truthful, honest and credible witness who did not change his version while under cross-examination”.
The committee further found that Nqini “is directly responsible for the vehicle accidents that are happening on our roads as a result of him certifying drivers fit to obtain PrDPs without examining them.”
“The RTMC welcomes the verdict against the doctor although it believes that the sentence could have been harsher to deter others from committing a similar offence.
“Members of the public are urged to report fraud and corrupt practices relating to the issuing of driving licences to firstname.lastname@example.org. WhatsApp messages can be sent to 083 298 7989,” RTMC said.
Source: South African Government News Agency