The regulations relating to inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct of healthcare practitioners registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) have been amended. Practitioners must ensure that their current and correct e-mail address is in the HPCSA’s records.

Two of the three amendments bring the regulations up to speed with modern times. A practitioner’s e-mail address as it appears on the records of the HPCSA may now, in terms of the amended regulations, be deemed the address of the practitioner for communications.

After the HPCSA receives a complaint about a practitioner, it must notify the practitioner in writing and request the practitioner to provide a written response to the complaint within 40 working days. With the amended regulations, the clock starts ticking on the day such notification is e-mailed to the practitioner.

The e-mail account should be monitored fairly regularly to be sure that notices from the HPCSA are received immediately.

The final amendment to the regulations relates to the composition of the professional conduct committee (which oversees the inquiry into the conduct of a practitioner). It is no longer mandatory for a legal assessor to form part of the professional conduct committee.