The Kasama Subordinate Court recently convicted and fined 34year old Gerald Chishimba Ng’onga of Chitamba Village in Kasama District, Northern Province, for offering healthcare services without approval from the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ).
In a press statement issued by HPCZ Senior Public Relations Officer, Mr. Terry Musonda, Mr. Ng’onga contravened the Health Professions Act No. 24 of 2009 Sections 6, 30 and 36 by practicing as a health practitioner and/or offering health care services without the necessary registration or approval by the Council.
Following a compliance monitoring exercise in September by HPCZ, Mr. Ng’onga was apprehended by a team of Zambia Police Officers and was convicted by the Court on 22nd September, 2020, and fined K10, 000.00, or in default of which, he would serve six (6) months of simple imprisonment.
Mr. Terry Musonda - HPCZ Senior Public Relations Officer
In an exclusive interview with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Mr. Musonda stated that HPCZ would continue its sensitisations efforts through various platforms including community radio stations in order for people who do not live along the line of rail to be capacitated with the information they need to make sound judgements about their healthcare needs and providers.
“We still have to continue with sensitisation through various platforms such as community radio stations so that not everybody who claims to be a health professions practitioner is taken at their word as a doctor or clinical officer,” Mr. Musonda said, adding, “we want the people to question the system and ask for the health practitioner’s certificates, licence from HPCZ and if they are accredited.”
The Senior Public Relations Officer further stated that along the line of rail, the contraventions like the ones that led to Mr. Ng’onga’s conviction are not as prevalent as they are in rural areas due to the higher levels of ignorance of their healthcare rights among the rural community. He stressed that HPCZ through its sensitisation efforts is working hard to curb this ignorance.
In March of this year, HEA and HPCZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure that all institutions providing health training programmes have been vetted fully by HEA to the set standards of registration and all the Learning Programmes (LPs) have been accredited through a collaborative process with HPCZ.
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