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Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974)

Chapter V : General and Supplementary Provisions

53. Fees charged by registered persons

[Section 53 heading substituted by section 46(a) of Act No. 29 of 2007]


(1) Every person registered under this Act (in this section referred to as the practitioner) shall, unless the circumstances render it impossible for him to do so, before rendering any professional services inform the person to whom the services are to be rendered or any person responsible for the maintenance of such person, of the fee which he or she intends to charge for such services—
(a) when so requested by the person concerned; or
(b) when such fee exceeds that usually charged for such services,

and shall in a case to which paragraph (b) relates, also inform the person concerned of the usual fee.


(2) Any practitioner who in respect of any professional services rendered by him or her claims payment from any person (in this section referred to as the patient) shall, subject to the provisions of section 32 of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998 (Act 131 of 1998), furnish the patient with a detailed account within a reasonable period.

[Subsection (2) substituted by section 46(b) of Act No. 29 of 2007]


(a) The patient may, within three months after receipt of the account referred to in subsection (2), apply in writing to the professional board to determine the amount which in the opinion of the professional board should have been charged in respect of the services to which the account relates, and the professional board shall, as soon as possible after receipt of the application, determine the said amount and notify the practitioner and the patient in writing of the amount so determined: Provided that before the professional board determines the said amount, it shall afford the practitioner concerned an opportunity to submit to it in writing his or her case in support of the amount charged.
(b) [Subsection (3)(b) deleted by section 52 of Act No. 89 of 1997]
(c) The Minister may, after consultation with the council, make such regulations as he or she may deem necessary in relation to the procedure where a professional board shall follow in disposing of an application under this subsection.

[Subsection (3)(c) substituted by section 46(c) of Act No. 29 of 2007]

(d) A professional board may from time to time determine and publish the fees used by the professional board as norm for the determination of amounts contemplated in paragraph (a).


(4) A claim which is the subject of an application referred to in subsection (3) of which notice has been given by the professional board or the patient to the practitioner, shall not be recoverable until a determination has been made in terms of that subsection, and when such a determination has been made no amount which exceeds the amount so determined, shall be payable: Provided that if the patient has paid to the practitioner an amount in settlement or part settlement of such claim and such amount exceeds the amount so determined, the practitioner shall pay the amount by which that payment exceeds the amount so determined back to the patient.


(5) This section shall not be deemed to divest a professional board of any of its powers or functions under Chapter IV with regard to acts or omissions in respect of which it may take disciplinary steps.


(6) For the purposes of this section 'professional services' shall include the supply of any artificial part for the human body and the fitting of such part to the human body.