Traditional health practitioners and the authority to issue medical certificates

Boyane Tshehla


The Interim Traditional Health Practitioners Council was inaugurated in February 2013 and in May 2014 the sections of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act that give it full powers came into effect. The Council, as a professional body established by Parliament, gives traditional health practitioners registered with it the authority to issue medical certificates in line with the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. However, the Council does not seem to be in a position to perform this function yet. Moreover, the field itself seems almost impossible to regulate because the practitioners cannot be subjected to objective assessment measures. While registered traditional health practitioners have the authority to issue medical certificate, it remains a moot point whether the certificates should be given full credibility before specific requirements for registration have been formulated and are implementable and the envisaged code of conduct is in force.

Author's affiliations

Boyane Tshehla, Faculty of Law, North-West University (Mafikeng Campus), North West Province, South Africa

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Traditional; Health; Code of conduct; CounciT

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(4):279-280. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.9217

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-12-01
Date published: 2015-02-27

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