Traditional healers can issue medical certificates: Here’s how

5 Oct 2017

By: Econoserve

The issue of medical certificates that come from traditional healers is a sensitive issue that requires employers to tread carefully.
Let’s first determine who can issue out a valid medical certificate:

  • A Medical practitioner can issue out a valid medical certificate if they are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
  • A Dentist can issue out a valid medical certificate if they are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
  • A Psychologist (Clinical, Educational and Counseling with Masters Degree) can issue out a valid medical certificate if they are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
  • Traditional healers can issue out a valid medical certificate if they are registered Traditional Health Practitioners Council of South Africa.

So it is clear that traditional healers are recognised as health practitioners in the eyes of South African law, thus resulting in employers having no reason to refuse to accept medical certificates issued by a Sangoma/ Igqirha /Ngaka.
To ensure that the medical certificate is valid, let us determine what must be included in it:

  • Health practitioner’s name, address and qualifications
  • Employee name and surname
  • Date and time of examination
  • Whether the certificate is based on the health practitioner’s personal observations or just according to the employee’s observation and that could still be based on suitable medical grounds
  • Illness description, with the employee’s consent, should the employee not agree, and then the health practitioner just states that it’s his/her opinion that the employee is not fit for work.
  • Time period that the employee is booked off.
  • If the employee is completely or only partially unable to do his duties.
  • The health practitioner must personally sign or initial the original and print his name next to it in capital letters
  • The health practitioner must give the patient a short factual report if he asks for one.

Here is a summary of a CCMA case that is commonly used in traditional medical certificates case studies: Kievits Kroon Country Estate (Pty) Ltd v Mmoledi and Others [2014] 1 All SA 636 (SCA).

Econoserve will be hosting a series of Labour Law Workshops on “A practical implementation on Labour Law”.

Bookings: Call EconoServ on 011 483 1190, email info@econoserv.co.za

info@probonomatters.co.za

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