Fraud has been on the rise in different sectors of the South African economy. Citizens have always been the ones to suffer before the rogues are discovered. Ms. Sonnet-Mari Brand is one of the many fake specialists benefiting from unsuspecting South Africans that come to them for help.
It is unclear how many people have received services from Ms. Sonnet-Mari and for how long. The human body is a complex system that can only be handled effectively by qualified specialists. Here is a look at Ms. Brand’s story and how she started deceiving unsuspecting patients.
Who is Sonnet-Mari Brand pulmonologist?
- The bogus pulmonologist hails from Cape Town, South Africa.
- In February 2020, she moved to Springs in Gauteng, where she established two specialist medical practices on Nigel Road and 3rd Street.
- She worked as an expert pulmonologist and offered house calls after hours. She was also consulting at the Far East Rand Hospital, raising questions on why the facility employed her without proper medical qualifications.
How was Sonnet-Mari Brand discovered?
- A suspecting citizen reported to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) about the possibility of Ms. Brand being a con pulmonologist.
- Springs SAPS and the Ekurhuleni East Cluster Crime Intelligence started their investigation and discovered that she never went to medical school, neither is she registered with HPCSA.
- She had been advertising for house calls with the information of a registered physician, and she also issued fake prescriptions to people seeking medical attention.
- Ms. Sonnet-Mari had violated Section 40 and Section 17(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act. She was arrested and then released on R4,000 bail on 2nd November 2020. Her surgical practices have since been shut down.
Who is a pulmonologist?
- This is a specialist who diagnoses and treats ailments affecting an individual’s respiratory system. They treat both children and adults.
- Ailments treated include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, pleural infections, obstructive apnea, COPD, and others.
- To qualify as a pulmonologist, one must have a 4-year medical degree from a recognized university, a 4-year medical school program, and a 3-year residency in internal medicine. You then have to complete a 2 to 3-year fellowship program before sitting for a specialty board certification exam, which you must pass.
- The exposure of Sonnet-Mari Brand rogue practice should help South Africans become more vigilant when looking for medical care.
- Patients need to look beyond convenience in terms of price, time, and distance and tp focus on qualification. It is a possibility that there are more fake medical practitioners in the country.
The issue of fraud in the medical profession is not new to South Africa. Briefly.co.za reported in July 2020 about Nokwanda Ndlovu, a high school drop-out who had fooled five KwaZulu-Natal hospitals and clinics that she is a medical intern from Wits University.