THE Health Professions Council of Zambia has been ordered to unconditionally restore Dr Brian Sampa’s practicing license and to also pay him K101,000 for loss of income as well as legal costs, following a consent judgement entered into by the two parties.
This is a matter in which Resident Doctors Association of Zambia president Dr Sampa dragged HPCZ to the Lusaka High Court over its decision to suspend his practicing certificate.
But according to a sealed consent judgement seen by News Diggers, dated September 7, Dr Sampa and HPCZ have agreed that upon execution of the Consent Judgement, Dr Sampa shall have no further claims whatsoever against HPCZ in respect of all factual and any legal issues leading up to this action.
“The parties having agreed to the terms of settlement and consenting to a Judgment being drawn up in such terms as hereinafter provided; by consent of the parties, it is hereby ordered and adjudged that (i) The respondent (HPCZ) shall unconditionally restore the Practicing License of the applicant (Dr Sampa) upon execution of this Consent Judgment. (ii) The respondent shall pay the applicant loss of income for the period in question at K17,000 by three months totaling K51,000 and agreed legal costs of K50,000, and both amounts totaling K101,000 shall be paid on or before 7th September 2021,” read the consent judgement signed by the court.
“(iii) Upon execution of this Consent Judgment, the applicant shall have no further claims whatsoever against the respondent in respect of all factual and any legal issues leading up to this action. (iv) This Consent Judgment shall not be construed as an admission by the respondent of any liability and the applicant shall not make or provide any statement or suggestion to the contrary. (v) The parties shall not make any public statement concerning the settlement embodied in this Consent Judgement, unless the prior consent of the other parties has first been obtained save referring to the fact of a settlement having being concluded without admission of liability and the date of this Consent Judgement.”
In this matter, Dr Sampa was seeking a declaration that the purported decision of HPCZ to suspend his Practising Certificate was illegal, irrational, and procedurally improper.
He was further seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the purported decision of HPCZ in the absence of the Health Professions Council was illegal, irrational, and procedurally improper; and further an order of certiorari quashing the said decision.
But HPCZ had argued that its action to suspend Dr Sampa’s practicing certificate was solely in public interest owing to the health emergency created by his illegal actions.
According to an affidavit in opposition to affidavit verifying facts, HPCZ registrar and chief executive officer Bwembya Bwalya said the actions of Dr Sampa to direct resident doctors to proceed on a go-slow were illegal as they were contrary to the provisions of the health professions Act as read together with the industrial and labour relations Act which prohibits workers employed in the provision of essential services from taking [part in] industrial actions such as go-slows and strikes.
“That by directing members of the RDAZ to go on a go-slow, the actions of the applicant created a national emergency in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Bwalya stated.
“Dr Sampa was duly suspended by the HPCZ and the actions of the respondent to suspend his practicing certificate were solely in public interest owing to the health emergency created by the illegal actions of the applicant. That the respondent properly discharged its mandate under the applicable statute and in public interest.