OHSC Fraud Hotline

Overview of Compliance Inspectorate of OHSC

The Compliance Inspectorate comprises a team of clinically trained inspectors whose role is to inspect health establishments to determine whether they are meeting the standards of service that have been prescribed in regulations.

At the heart of the inspection process is a detailed set of norms and standards appropriate to the kind of health establishment being inspected. These are drafted by the OHSC in order to provide guidance to the Minister of Health who promulgates norms and standards as regulations – which therefore have the authority of law.

The first regulations on norms and standards, which will apply to public hospitals, community health centres and clinics, as well as private acute hospitals and primary healthcare clinics, were published for a three-month comment period on 18 February 2015.

Regulated norms and standards will provide health establishments with clarity about the standards of service they are required to provide. They will also help the public understand the quality of service they are entitled to receive.

A standardised tool to measure or evaluate the performance of health establishments against the prescribed norms and standards will be developed for each category of health establishments. This tool is the key to consistency and objectivity as inspectors go about their work in different parts of the country.

Most inspections undertaken by the OHSC will be of a routine nature, where the intention is to ascertain if establishments comply with standards and qualify for certification. In instances where establishments fail to meet the level required for certification, inspectors will issue notices of compliance, directing these establishments to make specific improvements to their operations, and will establish whether the corrective measures have been taken.

Inspections may also be conducted as a result of complaints from the public or if the OHSC picks up warning signs of problems through its Early Warning System. The inspectorate may also re-inspect health establishments in order to check that the improvements stipulated in compliance notices have been made.

During the course of inspections, OHSC inspectors will have powers, in terms of the National Health Amendment Act, to enter health establishments, conduct inspections, question relevant staff and patients, and request access to documents including patient records. They have the powers of a peace officer, as set out in the Criminal Procedures Act 51 of 1977, as amended.

The Compliance Inspectorate will work closely with the Certification and Enforcement Unit which manages the formal awarding of certificates (based on inspectors' recommendations) and the institution of enforcement measures at institutions that fail to action in accordance with compliance notices. This process will also take into account information from the Complaints Centre and reports of the Early Warning System.

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