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Mediclinic News : Protests a worry for health care

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Protests a worry for health care

Date

2016-10-06

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News Description

CAPE TIMES THE #FeesMustFall protests will have dire consequences for the national health care system if the number of junior doctors entering the field next year is impacted by medical students not being able to complete their final year, health bodies say. The SA Medical Association (Sama) and the Health Professionals Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) says interns and junior doctors are the bedrock on which the public health care system is based, and any disruption to their production will have severe consequences. Sama chairperson Mzukisi Grootboom said: “The public health care system is under immense strain. It is a fragile system, and is highly dependent on the annual replenishing of new graduates into the system. Jeopardising this new intake will seriously impede health care delivery, and will ultimately have a knock-on effect on patient morbidity and even mortality. “Clearly the issues apply equally to the graduation of all professional cadres from our universities, including other health care and non-health care professionals. Our concern, however, is based on the potential negative impact on patient care and the consequences for our public health care system that delivers health care to the most vulnerable in our country.” In a statement, the HPCSA said the present unstable environment at higher education institutions may have an impact on the quality of future health care practitioners and the accreditation status of training institutions. The accreditation is based on a number of criteria including academic exposure, assessments, infrastructure, safety and equipment of such institutions. “Currently, South Africa has limited resources in terms of health professionals practising in the country. The continuation of such unstable academic environment will affect the registration of final-year students due to complete their studies and have to register with the council for the purpose of practising their professions in South Africa at the end of 2016,” the statement reads. According to the UCT health sciences faculty dean, Professor Bongani Mayosi, if health sciences students continue with their academic programme on Monday, which they have done despite #FeesMustFall activities during the last week, final-year students will have enough time to complete the year, but if not, the effect would be felt. “There will be fewer doctors in public service to attend to patients. We could see waiting times increase… The doctors there will have to work longer hours with a negative impact on the quality of care,” Mayosi said, adding that more than 370 practitioners are expected to serve next year.
Created at 2016/10/10 04:47 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/10/10 04:47 PM by Mediclinic