Against the backdrop of mounting tendency to grant “unwarranted sick leaves” to the public, the Ministry of Health has sent a stern warning to health professionals, citing sick leaves which are even sold by health practitioners.
Overwhelmed by the instances which appear out of control with no sign of abating, the Director of Health Services Dr Seipone further warned about other cases of forgeries of sick leaves intentionally crafted to authenticate absenteeism from work.
“Health professionals are warned that granting a patient a medical certificate that is not warranted or false, is not only unethical and unprofessional, but it also amounts to fraudulent crime,” said Seipone on Monday as she was talking to health practitioners.
“The public is forthwith warned that granting medically unjustified sick leave is a criminal act, and that the professional doing so commits a criminal, unprofessional and unethical act,” the Director added.
Furthermore, she said alteration of medical certificates is also a fraudulent act that the public is warned against. Health professionals are warned that such acts are contrary to Regulations 22, 28 and 30 of the Botswana Health Professions Act, 2001, reads the strongly worded press release.
“It is also highlighted that in accordance with the Employment Act section 100, an employee is entitled to sick leave as the medical officer concerned recommends. It is therefore against the law for other professionals other than a medical officer to issue sick leaves,” Seipone said, urging the public to take this matter seriously.
Health workers who are implicated will be dealt with accordingly.