ETHEKWINI HEALTH BOSS SUSPENDED
By: Gift Nyamapfene
EThekwini Municipality yesterday confirmed that Dr Nomakhosi Gxagxisa, the city’s head of the health unit, had been suspended.
City spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said in a media press release, “Dr. Gxagxisa will be suspended for a period not exceeding three months pending an internal investigation. The suspension came into effect on Tuesday 18 September.”
He said that the conditions of service required that she be given full pay during the course of her suspension.
Dr Gxagxisa’s suspension follows allegations that she brought the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) into disrepute by failing to pay an admission-of-guilt fine issued in January for practicing as a medical practitioner without registering with the institution.
According to the HPCSA, the controversial health boss had falsely claimed to be a registered medical practitioner between June 1992 and November 2011.
The HPCSA found Dr Gxagxisa guilty of unprofessional conduct again last month. She pled guilty to the misconduct and to bringing the profession into disrepute.
“The current investigation will seek to establish reasons as to why the issue of her registration with the HPCSA was not resolved by December 2011 as had been expected,” Mofokeng said.
“In addition, the investigation will scrutinise the conditions of the settlement agreement that Dr Gxagxisa reached with an aggrieved candidate who applied for the position of deputy head of the health unit,” he said.
The aggrieved employee was promoted to deputy head of health with effect from August this year as per one of the terms of the settlement. Allegations are that Dr Gxagxisa employed the deputy head of the health unit without following the proper procedures leading to one of the candidates for the job being disgruntled for unfair treatment.
Senior managers within the health unit will act in her position on a rotational basis until the investigation is resolved.
Mofokeng added, “The municipality is confident that the suspension will not in any way affect the operations of the unit and has faith in those appointed to act in the position.”
Dr Gxagxisa could not be reached for comment.