Welcome to The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa
The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) is a statutory health body established in terms of the Allied Health Professions Act, 63 of 1982 (the Act) in order to control all allied or complementary health professions, which includes Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Phytotherapy, Reflexology, Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Reflexology and Unani-Tibb.
FROM THE DESK OF THE AHPCSA CHAIRPERSON
7 SEPTEMBER 2021
Dear practitioners and therapists
The roles and duties of AHPCSA-registered practitioners and therapists during the pandemic have seen consideration and debate at both executive committee and full council level last week.
AHPCSA councilors and professional board members are very much cognisant of the unprecedented nature of pandemic challenges being experienced, not only in South Africa but throughout the world. Many families have been personally affected, and economic activity has been negatively impacted, in particular private healthcare practices, whether complimentary or otherwise. The various levels of lockdown have had an additional impact on all our lives, professional and personal, and this will continue for the foreseeable future with everyone needing to live within this pandemic reality responsibly. While more than 13.4 million persons have now been vaccinated, it is appropriate that also we reflect at this time that some 83 700 persons have lost their lives.
You will recall that 2020 saw rapid responses from the AHPCSA in developing and communicating relevant policies, regulations or guidelines to facilitate how practitioners and therapists should respond to government directives, which remain in force. It is incumbent on practitioners and therapists to remember that all actions are required to be based in law. The mandate and the role of the AHPCSA is to protect the health of the public as mandated by the Act, pursuant then also to the provisions of the National Health Act, and we are required to integrate all government directives or regulations into our interaction with patients, their healthcare advice and treatment.
Practitioners and therapists have already been informed that expressing oneself in public regarding matters of a health science nature is disallowed unless permission has been granted by the relevant professional board to do so. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that accurate and verifiable information based on actual evidence is communicated to patients, to allow them to make informed decisions - patients are required to be referred to both the Department of Health website and to that of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. You are also reminded that no complementary medicines have been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for use in Covid-19 treatment. The directive issued by the Registrar on 10 March 2020, encompassed as Addendum A in Board Notice 95 of 2020 (Government Gazette No 43613 of 13 August 2020) [available for viewing at www.ahpcsa.co.za > Legislation] and all other directives and guidelines in this Board Notice thus remain valid.
The AHPCSA wishes to underscore that the education and training of practitioners and therapists is such that no registered person is trained in any conventional medicine treatment protocols; public and private interaction within your professional ambit regarding the pandemic is therefore outside of your legal scope of practice and is, as such, proscribed.
It remains our collective responsibility to ensure accurate and verifiable information based on actual evidence is communicated to patients to allow them to make informed decisions.
With kind regards
Dr Christopher Yelverton
The AHPCSA is mandated in terms of the Act to:
- Promote and protect the health of the public;
- Manage, administer and set policies relating to the professions registered with the AHPCSA;
- Investigate complaints relating to the professional conduct of practitioners, interns and students;
- Administer the registration of persons governed by the AHPCSA;
- Set standards for the education and training of intending practitioners; and
- The AHPCSA is also responsible to advise the Minister of Health and the National Department of Health on matters as they relate to the allied health professions and to communicate to the Minister of Health matters of public importance acquired in the course of its functions.
The AHPCSA consists of 3 divisions: