The number of health professionals illegally practising in South Africa has increased with the arrest of a man who has been working as a dentist for two years in Johannesburg.

Vladimir Jovanovic was recently arrested in Dunkeld, Johannesburg, after it was found he was not registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

He appeared in court on Monday.

The HPCSA’s Priscilla Sekhonyana said they were concerned about the increasing number of bogus healthcare practitioners who continued to practise while not registered with them.

She said Jovanovic’s arrest came after they, with the National Crime Intelligence and the Johannesburg Flying Squad, conducted an operation at Dr Abram Behr Fait’s dental practice in Dunkeld West Centre.

Sekhonyane further said they established during the operation that Jovanovic has been practising as a dentist at the practice since 2018 and that Dr Fait had not been practising there from March this year.

She also said “Dr Fait was not present at the time of the operation and Jovanovic was arrested and taken to the Parkview SAPS where he was charged for contravening Section 17(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act, (Act 56 of 1974).

“The matter will be referred to the Medical and Dental Professions Board for disciplinary action again Dr Fait as he employed/allowed an unregistered person to practise at his practice whilst not registered with Council.

“The Inspectorate Office is pleading with healthcare practitioners registered with the HPCSA to refrain from employing/allowing unregistered persons to practise at their practices as this endangers the innocent lives of the public. The HPCSA will continue to maintain its mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions”.

Sekhonyane said members of the community must continue to report all suspected illegal practices by unregistered people She said they also welcomed tip-offs at any of their offices around the country.

In July this year, HPCSA officials and Honeydew police pounced on Effort Matanga Ncube, a Zimbabwean national, and his accomplices at Northview Shopping Centre in Northgate.

Ncube’s bogus surgery, Northview Dentist, had been operating at the mall since since 2017.

The authorities had received a tip-off from a community member prior to the operation.

Ncube allegedly offered a variety of dental procedures, and there were three patients waiting for consultation when authorities arrested him and a gang of fake dentists he had hired. The surgery was later closed.