Corporate Governance is a system of rules, practices and processes by which the HPCSA is directed, controlled and held to account.
In addition to the legislative requirements based on enabling legislation corporate governance at the HPCSA is applied in tandem with the principles communicated in the King Codes on Corporate Governance.
THE EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY
The Health Professions Council of south Africa is a creature of statute established in terms of Section 2 of the Health Professions Act, 56 of 1974. It is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Health as its Executive Authority.
In terms of Section 3 (1) of the Health Professions Act 51 of 1974, the HPCSA has to submit to the Minister the following:
- A five-year Strategic Plan within six months of Council coming into office, which includes details as to how Council plans to fulfil its objectives under the Act;
- Every six months, a report on the status of health professions and matters of public importance that have come to the attention of Council in the course of the performance of its functions under the Act; and
- An annual report within six months of the of the financial year.
In the reporting period, the above stated information was submitted to the Minister in compliance with the requisite time frames.
THE ACCOUNTING AUTHORITY
Council as the governing body of the HPCSA is established and vested with all functions of the Accounting Authority. Council’s tenure for the period 2015/2020 came to an end and a new Council was inaugurated in December 2020 to remain in office until 2025. Council is responsible for the development of HPCSA’s five-year strategy and to exercise oversight on performance placing emphasis on the following object and functions of the HPCSA:
- To co-ordinate the activities of the Professional Boards established in terms of this Act and to act as an advisory and communicatory body for such Professional Boards;
- To promote and to regulate interprofessional liaison between health professions in the interest of the public;
- To determine strategic policy in accordance with National Health Policy as determined by the Minister, and to make decisions in terms thereof, with regard to the Professional Boards and the health professions, for matters such as finance, education, training, registration, ethics and professional conduct, disciplinary procedure, scope of the professions, interprofessional matters and maintenance of professional competence;
- To consult and liaise with relevant authorities on matters affecting the Professional Boards in general;
- To assist in the promotion of the health of the population of the Republic;
- Subject to legislation regulating health care providers and consistency with national policy determined by the Minister, to control and to exercise authority in respect of all matters affecting the education and training of persons in, and the manner of the exercise of the practices pursued in connection with, the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of physical or mental defects, illnesses or deficiencies in human kind;
- To promote liaison in the field of education and training referred to in paragraph (f),both in the Republic and elsewhere, and to promote the standards of such education and training in the Republic;
- To advise the Minister on any matter falling within the scope of this Act in order to support the universal norms and values of health professions, with greater emphasis on professional practice, democracy, transparency, equity, accessibility and community involvement;
- To communicate to the Minister information of public importance acquired by the Council in the course of the performance of its functions under this Act;
- To serve and protect the public in matters involving the rendering of health services by persons practising a health profession;
- To exercise its powers and discharge its responsibilities in the best interest of the public and in accordance with national health policy determined by the Minister;
- To be transparent and accountable to the public in achieving its objectives and when performing its functions and exercising its powers;
- To uphold and maintain professional and ethical standards within the health professions;
- To ensure the investigation of complaints concerning persons registered in terms of this Act and to ensure that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against such persons in accordance with this Act in order to protect the interest of the public; and
- To ensure that persons registered in terms of this Act behave towards users of health services in a manner that respects their constitutional rights to human dignity, bodily and psychological integrity and equality, and that disciplinary action is taken against persons who fail to act accordingly.