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March 2021 Newsletter

“Let them eat cake”

The increase in the cost of registration which the HPCSA has imposed upon medical and dental practitioners makes one wonder how in touch the various organs of state are, with the health care sector and the financial health of our medical and dental practitioners?

An increase of 15% is unaffordable given the extremely difficult year which the majority of our colleagues have experienced.

For a statutory body whose mandate is “To guide the profession and protect the public”, the HPCSA is responsible for ensuring that healthcare practitioners are fit to practice their profession free from any physical or mental impairment.”

The public have no part in either funding this organisation, nor do they have an oversight into its budgeting, costs and expenditure, as well as the setting of annual fees by the HPCSA.

Autocracy in the new South Africa was (rightly) overturned in 1994 and just in time too…….

350 years ago, the French Revolution, widely seen as the dawn of freedom from tyranny and oppression, began in France on the 5 May 1789, lasting until 9 November 1799.

At the time, the French privileged class were blissfully unaware, nor did they care about the plight of the exploited workforce.

Famously, the erstwhile queen of France Marie Antoinette, wife of Louise V1th, when told that the masses were starving and had no money for bread, forcing them to riot, was quoted as replying “Let them eat cake”. (It is not quite sure if she really said this or just something similar, or whether it was urban legend?) Because cake was more expensive than bread, the anecdote has been cited as an example of Marie Antoinette’s obliviousness to the conditions and daily lives of her ordinary people. *

Her husband, the French King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. Marie Antoinette's trial began on 14 October 1793, and two days later she was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed, also by guillotine, on the Place de la Révolution. **

The mighty fell, and have done so many times subsequently in history and will continue to tumble, until true democracy, transparency, fairness, honesty and participation of all stakeholders becomes the norm in every society and governments around the world.

Internationally government offices and departments are servants of the people, for the people, by the people and paid for by the taxpayer. They are excepted to act responsibly at all time and reflect, address, and correct the ills which beset both those whom they protect as well as those whom they guide.

This latest increase only for medical and dental practitioners is food for thought although not food for the bellies of the long suffering medical and dental professionals of this country.

Qualicare Team
* Reference J M Cunningham Encyl Brittanica
** Wikipedia


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