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PATHSA discussion on cross-border consultations

08/06/2021 13:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

A question arose considering the difficulty in some African countries to access gender-affirming treatment, whether a South African health professional can provide treatment to a patient in another country, via online consultation.

The challenges with this possibility are:

  • To provide treatment to a patient who resides in a different country, a health professional would be required to be registered with the appropriate regulatory body in that country and to abide by that country’s rules and regulations.
  • Prescriptions written in South Africa may not be valid in another country.
  • Should the patient need emergency assistance or reacts badly to medication prescribed, it would be very difficult to manage this patient remotely.
  • Should the patient complain or institute legal action, it would be in their country of residence where legislation will be different from South Africa.
  • Medicolegal support would be difficult to obtain, as malpractice insurance is usually only for practice in the country where the health professional is registered.

We propose that a patient who resides in another country, finds a local health professional willing to assist them. A South African health professional can then support and advise the local health professional to provide care, while the medicolegal responsibility remains with the local health professional.


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