Last Friday afternoon
psychologists registered with the HPCSA received a document titled Outcome
of the Review of the Scope of Practice by the Professional Board of Psychology
This document is seemingly
meant to provide guidelines for psychology practitioners registered, practising
and falling under the auspices of the HPCSA.
ReLPAG understands this
document was intended to inform these professionals and inter alia the public
using the services of these professionals as to the stance of the HPCSA is in
what it refers to as “protecting the public and guidingthe
In this regard however, due to
the lateness of the announcement it was difficult to obtain opinions of all
role players. Individual practitioners
and university professors alike started asking questions as to the meaning of
the Overview Document. There is clearly
A psychologist with a dual
registration in psychology, counselling and educational, immediately asked for
clarification and informed ReLPAG she was promised attention to her letter
within 24 hours.
In the past ReLPAG has not
received any attention to their letters and had to institute court action to
get an understanding and clarification on exactly this important matter.
ReLPAG unsuccessfully asked for
a statement from the PBP/HPCSA on 14 October 2019. This was a month after the Scope of Practice
was repealed by the honourable Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, by way of a
Gazetted Notice on 13 September 2019. A
follow-up letter from ReLPAG to the PBP and the President of the HPCSA brought
a promise from an employee at the HPCSA that ReLPAG will be contacted by a Ms
Taljaard from the PBP within 3 days. This did not materialise.
ReLPAG is an action group who
speaks on behalf of all psychology practitioners, including disenfranchised
psychologists, psychometrists and registered counsellors. These professionals who are members of ReLPAG
assist through donations which enables ReLPAG to act on their behalf and to serve the public and the psychological
fraternity. The public and communities in
a violent society are through thoughtless
actions deprived of psychological services not available in the public sector.
There are outcries of lack of
money and skills from the Department of Health.
ReLPAG is in possession of such a letter where services are curtailed
for exactly this reason. ReLPAG has
taken this up with the relevant Department without reply.
light of the desperate need for psychological services which is common cause,
not only cautions but expresses concern and grave difficulty with this
statement by the HPCSA. This while October
2019 statistics available from the HPCSA, indicate 9072 registered
psychologists are on register. No one
however indicate a big percentage of these are now once again being limited and
disenfranchised and can only deliver limited services to members of the
ReLPAG, through individual
members requested the Professional Board of Psychology for clarification by
phone and in writing on 15 November 2019 and on 18 November 2019. These efforts were unsuccessful apart from
automated responses indicating the requests for clarifications will receive
attention within 24 hours. Follow-up was
done but by 23 November 2019 no feedback or clarification was received.
ReLPAG will keep you
updated on developments in this regard.