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Mediclinic News : Minister under fire for staff shortages

Title

Minister under fire for staff shortages

Date

2017-01-25

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News Description

IOL Cape Town – The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has failed to sufficiently address the shortage of staff in public hospitals and clinics. Hospersa also says more can be done to provide incentives to qualified but unemployed health professionals to work in rural areas. Motsoaledi came under fire by health bodies after denying reports of a lack of posts available for doctors in the public sector last week. The SA Medical Association (Sama) and the Junior Doctors Association of SA (Judasa) have called some of his comments an affront to all doctors in the country. They have also said it was time that the medical profession re-examines its commitment to the principle of community service. After reports emerged of numerous health practitioners who have completed internships and community service still seeking jobs, Motsoaledi said last week that there were 147 posts available for medical doctors in the public sector, and 45 internship positions available. Motsoaledi said the 135 doctors quoted in the media, who are said to be without jobs, may contact the department. According to him, 22 South African interns placed in jobs declined the posts. Reasons ranged from marriage, family responsibility, medical conditions to religion and owning expensive property in a particular geographic location. Hospersa general secretary Noel Desfontaines said: “On the one hand we have a confirmed shortage of staff, but on the other, we hear of qualified health- care professionals who remain unemployed. Hospersa is very concerned about this paradox." “There is still a vast gap between public health-care facilities in the urban areas and what one finds in rural and far-flung communities. This needs to be addressed while implementing more effective incentives for health workers to apply their talents in rural areas.” Desfontaines said Hospersa was appalled by the often dismal working conditions faced by its members in the public sector, especially in hospitals and clinics managed on skeleton staff. “Nurses are at the front line of health care in South Africa, and one often finds that nurses are expected to operate clinics on their own, and with very little resources,” he said. The department did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
Created at 2017/01/30 03:36 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2017/01/30 03:36 PM by Mediclinic