Doctors fed up with health department

ACTIONS taken by the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department are reportedly the last straw for doctors in the province. According to the KZN Coastal Branch of the South African Medical Association (SAMA), ‘unilateral decisions’ taken by the provincial department were a ‘betrayal’of the consultative process between the sides.

Chairperson of the association, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa said they have noticed a ‘sharp deterioration’ in the public health care system over the years. In a statement the coastal branch said, “Members are reporting a variety of problems on a daily basis including burnout, mass resignations, and the relocation of doctors to other provinces.”

Dr Mzukwa said there was a total collapse in the departments of Oncology, ENT, Urology, and, lately, Anaesthetics.

He also sited problems such as shortages of medicines, collapsing infrastructure, broken equipment, and inadequate provision of staff.

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According to the association the KZN Health Department recently sabotaged discussions with the National Department of Health by unilaterally implementing a change to the conditions of employment of all doctors by freezing critical posts, creating unfunded posts, keeping some doctors unemployed, and introducing a new commuted overtime policy without adequate consultation.

Dr Mzukwa said, “This situation is getting worse every day, and as healthcare professionals we are duty bound to do something about it.”

The branch have decided to march on Friday, 5 May.



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