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News in 2015: When is a medical certificate considered to be valid?

by , 23 February 2015
Consider the following situation: your employer doesn't accept your certificate. Not familiar with the situation? Then imagine that you, as an employer, receive a medical certificate and you are not sure of its authenticity.


Ways to verify this? Means to make sure it is a valid medical certificate?

In what follows, consult the following excerpt from the Ethical and Professional Rules of the Medical and Dental Professions Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa which gives you a starting point:  

Rule 15.(1) A practitioner shall only grant a certificate of illness if such certificate contains the following information, namely:

    the name, address and qualification of the practitioner;
    the name of the patient;
    the employment number of the patient (if applicable);
    the date and time of the examination;

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    whether the certificate is being issued as a result of personal observations by the practitioner during an examination, or as the result of information received from the patient and which is based on acceptable medical grounds;
    a description of the illness, disorder or malady in layman's terminology, with the informed consent of the patient:, provided that if the patient is not prepared to give such consent, the medical practitioner or dentist shall merely specify that, in his or her opinion based on an examination of the patient, the patient is unfit to work;
    whether the patient is totally indisposed for duty or whether the patient is able to perform less strenuous duties in the work situation;
    the exact period of recommended a sick leave;
    the date of issuing of the certificate of illness; and
    a clear indication of the identity of the practitioner who issued the certificate which shall be personally and originally signed by him or her next to his or her initials and surname in printed or block letters.

(2) If preprinted stationery is used, a practitioner shall delete words which are irrelevant.

(3) a practitioner shall issue a brief factual report to a patient where such a patient requires information concerning himself or herself.

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