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City of Ekurhuleni notifies employers of a recent misconduct from a local employee

City of Ekurhuleni clarifies the clinic attendance letter does not serve as a sick note to be produced to an employer following a recent employee misconduct.

Ekurhuleni health practitioners have noted with concern an increasing number of patients visiting the city’s health facilities requesting sick notes.

Only in exceptional cases, a doctor may issue a sick note, not a nurse. A doctor is the only medical practitioner in a clinic with the authority who may give sick notes. Health practitioners at the city’s clinics only issue clinic attendance letters which are not sick notes. Some patients resort to altering the clinic attendance letters to forge sick notes.

A concerned employer visited one of the city’s health facilities with a batch of what their employees presented as sick notes from the clinic to verify their legitimacy. Upon investigation, he discovered they were clinic attendance letters forged into sick notes.

Falsification or altering of documents, including a medical certificate, is a dismissible misconduct in the workplace and a criminal offence punishable by a court of law.

Explaining what the clinic attendance letter is for, the city’s HOD for Health and Social Development, Dr Gilbert Motlatla, states a clinic attendance letter does not give a patient permission to be off sick. It is a confirmation that they visited a particular health facility.

“A clinic attendance letter only confirms that a patient visited the clinic. They mostly give it to patients on chronic medication who would ideally spend an hour or two at the clinic to collect their repeat medication or have an appointment.

“In some instances, some employers need the letter, where healthcare workers also indicate the time the patient left the health facility, as recorded on the clinic database.”

Motlatla confirmed a sick note could be issued in exceptional cases to a patient after seeing a doctor, the only practitioner authorised to issue one.

Medical certificates or sick leave cannot be used for routine check-ups, examinations, medical tests, collection of medication from a pharmacy or appointments with other medical practitioners.

Only patients, and not the persons accompanying them, will receive a clinic attendance letter or medical certificate.

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