Saturday, 27 April 2019

FAKE DOCS ON THE PROWL


THE Health Professions Authority Zimbabwe (HPAZ) has bemoaned the growing number of fake doctors in the country who treat desperate members of the public thereby putting their lives at risk.

Quackery or fake medical practice is fuelled by the increasing costs of health care and the prevailing shortage of medical personnel and medication at public health institutions.

In an interview, HPAZ deputy secretary general Ms Clotilda Chimbwanda said a number of nurses and midwives had been caught purporting to be medical doctors. 

“This growing problem is countrywide and we have been able to bust these fake doctors during our routine inspections which we conduct at all health institutions. These ‘doctors’ normally charge less compared to other practitioners hence an increasing number of people are seeking their services,” she said.

Ms Chimbwanda said the fake docors were putting people’s lives at risk and should therefore be weeded out.

“We have some nurses and midwives masquerading as doctors or dental technicians claiming that they are dentists when they have no qualifications,” she said.

Ms Chimbwanda said some people had been misdiagnosed or given wrong medication by these unqualified doctors and pharmacists.
  
“Members of the public must be very careful and should provide us with information so that we bring these fake doctors to book,” she said.

Ms Chimbwanda said all medical practitioners were obliged to display their practicing certificates at all times to prove that they are registered with the authority.

“Members of the public have a right to ask for these certificates which are valid only for a year. The certificates are renewed annually hence members can use then to cross check if they are dealing with registered and qualified doctors or not,” she said.

According to the HPAZ, any person found practising without certification or qualifications is arrested immediately and fined.

Health institutions that are caught operating without a licence are closed and owners taken to health councils for hearing.   Chronicle

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