The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has stated that the professional fee rates for 2022 recently announced by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) are unfair and not justifiable.

In a terse media statement to this effect just released, the association makes the point that the increases come at a time when many doctors are still recovering from the financial impact of COVID-19 and are trying to rebuild their practices.

SAMA further notes that these increases come after a 15% increment last year, and a 13% increment the year before: effectively a 30% 2-year increase. In addition both increases are more than double inflation (CPI).

“This is seen as a callous disregard of the effect the protracted pandemic has had on the medical profession,” the statement adds.

“These drastic increases demonstrate an unwillingness, on the part of the HPCSA, to assist doctors – many of whom remain unemployed –in either resuming employment, or financially managing their practices effectively.

“In the context of the current economic situation in South Africa, the fee increases cannot be defended and should not go unchallenged.”

The association has undertaken to engage with the HPCSA to address its concerns and those of its members.

SOURCE: SAMA PR and Communications