HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA

   3.   Continuation and renaming of Medical Council of Zambia

   4.   Functions of council

   5.   Registrar

PART III
REGISTRATION OF HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

   6.   Prohibition of practising without registration

   7.   Application for registration

   8.   Registration of health practitioners

   9.   Provisional registration

   10.   Temporary registration

   11.   Registration for limited period

   12.   Specialist registration

   13.   Changes in detail

   14.   Cancellation of registration

   15.   Prohibition of practise without practising certificate

   16.   Application for practising certificate

   17.   Display of practising certificate

   18.   Renewal of practising certificate

   19.   Cancellation of practising certificate

   20.   Regulations relating to practising certificate

   21.   Conditions of certificate

   22.   Prohibition of transfer of certificate

   23.   Removal and restoration of name on register

   24.   Re-registration

   25.   Duplicate certificate of registration

   26.   Certificate of status

   27.   Register

   28.   Publication of copies of Register

   29.   Appeals

   30.   Holding out as health practitioner

   31.   Offences regarding health practitioners

PART IV
TRAINING

   32.   Prohibition of provision of unauthorised training programme

   33.   Application for approval of training programme

   34.   Review of approved training programme

   35.   Continuing professional development and training

PART V
LICENSING OF HEALTH FACILITIES

   36.   Prohibition of operating health facility without license

   37.   Application for license to operate health facility

   38.   Issue of license

   39.   Refusal to issue license

   40.   Display of license

   41.   Variation of license

   42.   Surrender of license

   43.   Transfer of license

   44.   Amendment of license

   45.   Renewal of license

   46.   Suspension or cancellation of license

   47.   Inspection of health facility

   48.   Entry and inspection

   49.   Report of inspection

   50.   Closure of health facility

   51.   Prohibition of treatment or diagnosis without medical doctor or registered health practitioner

   52.   Publication of licensed health facility

   53.   Offences relating to health facilities

PART VI
ACCREDITATION OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES

   54.   Application for accreditation of health care service

   55.   Grant of accreditation

   56.   Refusal to grant accreditation

   57.   Renewal of accreditation

   58.   Revocation of accreditation

   59.   Provision of health care service without accreditation

PART VII
DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

   60.   Code of Ethics

   61.   Professional misconduct

   62.   Initiation of disciplinary action

   63.   Disciplinary committee

   64.   Functions of Disciplinary committee

   65.   Proceedings of Disciplinary committee

   66.   Powers of Disciplinary Committee

   67.   Reports by Disciplinary committee

   68.   Appeals to High Court

   69.   Rules of Chief Justice

   70.   Rules relating to disciplinary proceedings

PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   71.   Jurisdiction over acts committed outside Zambia

   72.   Presumption of non registration

   73.   No execution on property of council

   74.   General penalty

   75.   Offences by body corporate or unincorporate body

   76.   Authority to issue guidelines

   77.   Regulations

   78.   Repeal of Act 22 of 1977

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to continue the existence of the Medical Council of Zambia and rename it as the Health Professions Council of Zambia; provide for the registration of health practitioners and regulate their professional conduct; provide for the licensing of health facilities and the accreditation of health care services provided by health facilities; provide for the recognition and approval of training programmes for health practitioners; repeal the Medical and Allied Professions Act, 1977; and provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[31st August, 2009]

Act 24 of 2009.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Health Professions Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

‘‘accreditation” means the approval granted by the council to a licensed health facility to provide one or more medical services relating to the preventive, diagnostic or treatment techniques of a particular disease or organ class;

“appointed date” means such date as the Minister may appoint under section 1;

“certificate of registration” means the certificate issued under section 8;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed as Chairperson under paragraph 1 of the First Schedule;

“Code of Ethics” means the code of professional conduct adopted and published by the council;

“consulting room” means a room used by a health practitioner for consulting and diagnosis;

“council” means the Health Professions Council of Zambia continued under section 3;

“diagnostic centre” means a laboratory or radiological service, or any other related service;

“Disciplinary Committee” means the Committee constituted under section 63;

“former council” means the Medical Council of Zambia established under the repealed Act;

“health care service” means a service provided by a health practitioner or health facility for the prevention, treatment and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well being;

“health facility” means any site, fixed or mobile, providing services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease or illness and includes a diagnostic centre, a hospice and a hospital;

“health practitioner” means a person registered as a health practitioner under section 8;

“health profession” means a profession whose member is required to register under section 8 and “health professional” shall be construed accordingly;

“hospice” means a place where a person who is terminally ill receives medical, nursing, nutritional, psychological and spiritual care;

“hospital” means a health institution providing in-patient health care under the supervision of a medical doctor, which includes one or more of the following health services—

      (a)   medicine;

      (b)   surgery;

      (c)   obstetrics and gynaecology; or

      (d)   paediatrics;

“inspector” means a person appointed as an inspector under section 47;

“organ class” means parts of the human body with similar or related anatomical functions and includes the endocrine system, cardiovascular system or nervous system;

“peer” means a member of the same health profession with similar specialisation, if any, and an equivalent number of years of medical practise;

“practising certificate” means a certificate issued to a health practitioner under section 16;

“professional misconduct” has the meaning assigned to it under section 61;

“provisional certificate of registration” means the registration effected under section 9;

“quality assurance information” means data from a medical record showing the nature of diagnosis and treatment given to a patient, without identifying the patient;

“Register” means the Register referred to under section 27;

“Registrar” means the person appointed as Registrar under section 5;

“repealed Act” means the Medical and Allied Professions Act 1977;

“scope of practise” means the range of knowledge expected of a particular health profession, and the preventive, diagnostic and treatment techniques which a health practitioner is allowed to perform, and the conditions under which the health practitioner may engage in those techniques;

“speciality” means a special field of work or study that a health practitioner specialises in or intends to specialise in;

“specialist” means a person registered as a specialist under section 12;

“temporary certificate of registration” means the registration effected under section 10; and

“Vice-Chairperson” means the person appointed as Vice-Chairperson under paragraph 1 of the First Schedule.

   (2) In this Act, any reference to the removal from, or the restoration to, the Register of the name of a health practitioner, shall be construed as including a reference to the removal from, or the restoration to, the Register of any other registrable particulars relating to that health practitioner.

PART II
THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA

3.   Continuation and renaming of Medical Council of Zambia

   (1) The Medical Council of Zambia established under the repealed Act shall continue to exist as if established under this Act and is for purposes of this Act hereby renamed the Health Professions Council of Zambia.

   (2) The council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

   (3) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the council.

4.   Functions of council

   (1) The functions of the council are to—

      (a)   register members of the health profession and regulate the professional conduct of health practitioners;

      (b)   maintain appropriate practise standards among health practitioners that are consistent with the principle of selfregulation and the promotion of high standards of public health;

      (c)   develop, promote, maintain and improve appropriate standards of qualification in the health profession;

      (d)   promote the integrity, and enhance the status, of the health profession including the declaration of any particular health practise to be undesirable for all, or a particular category of, health practitioners;

      (e)   license public and private health facilities, accredit health services and monitor quality control and assurance of health facilities and services;

      (f)   represent, coordinate and develop the health profession and promote its interest;

      (g)   develop, promote and enforce internationally comparable practise standards in Zambia;

      (h)   investigate allegations of professional misconduct and impose such sanctions as may be necessary;

      (i)   protect and assist the public in all matters relating to the practise of the health profession;

      (j)   advise the Minister on matters relating to the health profession; and

      (k)   do all such things as are necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act,

   (2) The council may—

      (a)   determine and levy fees that the council considers necessary to finance its activities under this Act;

      (b)   determine the fees payable for an inspection conducted for the purposes of this Act;

      (c)   determine fees for the accreditation of local and foreign training institutions and qualifications; and

      (d)   determine what portion of any fee is payable in respect of any part of a year and the date on which the fee or portion thereof is payable.

5.   Registrar

   (1) The council shall appoint a Registrar, who shall be the Chief Executive Officer, on such terms and conditions as the council may determine.

   (2) The Registrar shall be the Secretary to the council and shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the affairs of the council, under the supervision of the council.

   (3) The council may, whenever the Registrar is absent or is for any other reason unable to discharge the functions of the Registrar’s office, appoint an acting Registrar to discharge the Registrar’s functions.

   (4) The council shall appoint, on such terms and conditions as the council may determine, such other staff as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.

PART III
REGISTRATION OF HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

6.   Prohibition of practising without registration

   (1) A person shall not practise as a health practitioner, unless that person is registered as a health practitioner in accordance with this Act.

   (2) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both.

7.   Application for registration

   (1) A person who wishes to be registered as a health practitioner, shall apply to the council for registration in the prescribed manner and form upon payment of the prescribed fee.

   (2) The council may determine different fees for different categories or classes of health practitioners.

   (3) The council shall, within thirty days of receipt of an application under sub-section (1), grant or reject the application.

   (4) The council shall, where it rejects an application under sub-section (3), inform the applicant accordingly and give the reasons there for.

8.   Registration of health practitioners

   (1) The council shall, where an application meets the requirements of this Act, register the applicant as a health practitioner and issue the applicant with a certificate of registration.

   (2) The council shall register a health practitioner as—

      (a)   a medical doctor;

      (b)   a medical licentiate;

      (c)   a clinical officer;

      (d)   an emergency care officer;

      (e)   a dental surgeon;

      (f)   a dental technologist;

      (g)   a dental therapist;

      (h)   an oral hygienist;

      (i)   a pharmacist;

      (j)   a pharmacy technologist;

      (k)   a radiographer;

      (l)   an X-ray assistant;

      (m)   a biomedical scientific officer;

      (n)   a medical laboratory technologist;

      (o)   a medical laboratory technician;

      (p)   a physiotherapist;

      (q)   an osteopath;

      (r)   an orthopaedic technologist;

      (s)   an occupational therapist;

      (t)   a clinical psychologist;

      (u)   a medical sociologist;

      (v)   a medical social worker;

      (w)   a nutritionist and dietician;

      (x)   an audiometrist;

      (y)   an optician, optometrist and dispensing optician;

      (z)   an environmental health officer;

      (aa)   an environmental health technologist; or

      (ab)   any other health profession as the Minister may prescribe, on the recommendation of the council.

   (3) A holder of a provisional certificate of registration or a temporary certificate of registration may apply to the council for a certificate of registration in the prescribed manner and form upon payment of the prescribed fee.

   (4) The council shall, within thirty days of receipt of an application under sub-section (3), grant or reject the application.

   (5) The council shall, where it rejects an application under sub-section (4), inform the applicant accordingly and give the reasons therefor.

   (6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the council shall issue a certificate of registration under this section—

      (a)   to a holder of a provisional certificate of registration, if the holder—

      (i)   has practised in a health facility approved by the council for a period of not less than twelve months;

      (ii)   is of good character and good professional standing; and

      (iii)   meets such other requirements as may be prescribed; and

      (b)   to a holder of a temporary certificate of registration, if the holder—

      (i)   has completed at least twelve months of continuous employment in a health facility that holds a class A or class B license under section 38; and

      (ii)   submits a letter from the person’s supervisor at the health facility referred to under sub-paragraph (i), stating that the person has performed satisfactorily and displayed skills and knowledge equivalent to those of health practitioners trained in Zambia.

   (7) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, on the recommendation of the council, prescribe—

      (a)   the qualifications for registration of a person as a health practitioner; and

      (b)   the scope of practise for health practitioners registered under this Act.

9.   Provisional registration

   (1) A person who holds a qualification from a training institution recognised by the council, or a holder of a temporary certificate of registration, may apply for provisional registration in the prescribed manner and form upon payment of the prescribed fee.

   (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the council shall, where a person makes an application under sub-section (1), issue the person with a provisional certificate of registration if—

      (a)   the person meets the requirements for provisional registration; and

      (b)   the council determines that the training previously received by the person is equivalent to that required for provisional registration.

   (3) The council shall, where it rejects an application for provisional registration, inform the applicant accordingly and give the reasons therefor.

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