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Unemployed doctors assured of a solution

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Deputy Health Minister Doctor Sbongiseni Dhlomo says they will work with unemployed doctors to find a solution to their placement challenges.

Dhlomo was addressing doctors who marched in Pietermaritzburg to demand employment.

He says the department is calling for an exemption of budget cuts to fund more jobs.

“The past 3 days there have been some discussions between the Minister of Health and our Minister of Finance in this regard, and I’m looking forward to the State of the Nation Address debate by our Minister tomorrow at 2pm because his first point will be positively on this matter, and we hope that we improve. There is a positive story coming in from the memorandum of the doctors here to say please can it be going forward; the budget of health be protected from being cut. There is a positive story they are actually agreeing with some of the things that we have said.”

Public health system

Samatu General Secretary, Dr Cedric Sihlangu says delays in the placement of graduate doctors is crippling the country’s public health system due to dire staff shortages.

Sihlangu says there is no political will to urgently address the crisis.

He says, “The staff shortages are a long-known phenomenon. Our belief is that the health system in the public sector is actually collapsing. We have clinics and hospitals without a single doctor and yet we have numerous unemployed doctors sitting at home.”

“We’ve diagnosed the problem to not be just an issue of funding. The people who are meant to preside over the system and take decisions do not use public health systems, they use medical aid schemes. As a result, there’s no urgency about resolving this problem,” Sihlangu adds.

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