The Springs Magistrate’s Court has sentenced bogus cardiologist Sonnet-Mari Brand to two years in prison for running two practices and conducting home visits in Springs.
According to the Spings Advertiser, 36-year-old Brand pleaded guilty to all the charges against her.
Brand was arrested in October last year following information received by the SA Police Service’s Crime Intelligence Unit, working with the Health Professions Council of SA.
“The information was that she was registered with the council and subsequently that she was not a doctor or had any qualifications for what she claimed to be. Police information is that she was using someone else’s practice number,” Springs police spokesman Captain Johannes Ramphora said.
Investigating officer Sergeant Leah Mtsweni testified that one of the patients she allegedly treated had to have a leg amputated due to complications.
Brand was subsequently charged with contravening sections 17(1)(a) and 40 of the Health Professions Act.
In a separate incident, another unregistered locum practising as a medical practitioner, was arrested following an inspection in Idutywa, Eastern Cape, earlier this month.
According to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), upon questioning,the man indicated that he had been employed at the practice since August 2020. However, when the inspectors perused through the patients’ medical records, it revealed that he had been consulting with patients dating as far back as 2017.
He was arrested and detained at Idutywa SAPS for contravention of Sec 17(1), Sec 33, Sec 34 and Sec 39 of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974.
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“The HPCSA is committed to adhering to its mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions and encourages healthcare practitioners to ensure that they employ registered locums. Members of the public are urged to check if a healthcare practitioner is registered before seeking medical treatment.
This can be done via the HPCSA’s website on the iRegister or calling the Call Centre 012-338-9100/1 to verify the registration status of their local healthcare practitioners,” said the HPSCA.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde. Additional reporting by Sipho Mabena