Ethics

We are committed to high moral, ethical and legal standards, and support the code, principles and values of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Our values, policies and Code of Ethics provide a governing framework for ethical leadership and behaviour, which is further supported by a human rights awareness programme that forms part of our induction programme.

The Board recognises that good governance emanates from effective and responsible leadership characterised by the ethical values of responsibility, accountability, fairness and transparency. All employees are expected to fulfil our commitment to high moral, ethical and legal standards, including our policy of fair dealing and integrity when conducting Netcare’s business.

Netcare’s Code of Ethics guides the interaction between the Group and its stakeholders, including its partners and suppliers in the healthcare value chain. It articulates the Group’s policy regarding conflicts of interest, gifts, confidentiality, fair dealings and the protection and appropriate use of Netcare’s assets. Employees are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, as well as any gifts or invitations by a supplier or third party. A number of initiatives are used to entrench the code’s principles and ensure that it is consistently applied within the Group, including training interventions and an annual survey.

We are mindful of the professional codes that govern the conduct and ethics of healthcare professionals in South Africa. The Group supports the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in its endeavours to enforce its code, principles and values.

We encourage our employees to be fully aware of their human rights, facilitated through an awareness programme.

Managing unethical behaviour

We take a zero-tolerance approach to theft, fraud and corruption, as well as discrimination and racism.

Group Forensics evaluates all reported incidents of theft, fraud and corruption to ensure proper investigation and action. All identified cases are reported to the South African Police Services and, where appropriate, to the applicable registered bodies such as the HPCSA. Civil recoveries are pursued by prejudiced business units where financially appropriate.

Fraud awareness initiatives include roadshows, fraud awareness posters and regular communication on recent fraud trends and the nature of matters investigated by Group Forensics.

A number of mechanisms are in place for stakeholders to report irregularities such as alleged theft, or fraudulent, corrupt or unethical behaviour, including unethical medical behaviour. Employees, management and external parties can contact Group Forensics by telephone, email or meeting request, or they can use the Fraud and Ethics Hotline to protect their anonymity. These mechanisms are available to all Netcare employees and to the public, including suppliers and patients.

An anonymous toll-free line (SHOUT) allows employees to report alleged or perceived discriminatory or racist action or behaviour. The service is delivered in partnership with Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS), which operates a confidential call centre. NETCARE LIMITED 17 GOVERNANCE REPORT Every incident reported through these mechanisms is investigated. Reports of alleged theft, fraud or unethical behaviour are logged in the defalcation register and reported to management every second month. A forensics report summarising the defalcation register, fraud trends and material incidents is provided to the Audit, Risk, Consistency of Care and Social and Ethics committees.

All reports made to the SHOUT line are confidentially forwarded to senior human resource practitioners for investigation and management.

2018 performance

The governance, legal, ethics and compliance survey completed in 2018 across the Group confirmed that leadership is considered to act ethically and appropriately, and that there is a high level of awareness of ethics and related issues. A detailed ethics awareness campaign and further training will be undertaken in 2019.

1 Open cases are still under investigation.
2 The balance of incidents was reported through other mechanisms such as direct engagement or email.

The Fraud and Ethics Hotline facilitates anonymous reports of unethical behaviour.
0680FRAUD1 (0860 372 831)
If anonymity is not a concern, reports can be made to:
fraud@netcare.co.za
Toll-free line to report incidents of discrimination:
0800 611 036