Specialist resignations will cripple hospital – DA

2013-04-24 10:47

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital will be crippled if hospital management does not make changes to avert the mass resignations of specialists, the DA has said.

There would be “dire consequences” for the hospital if it lost the specialists’ skills, said Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom today.

“I urge the Gauteng health department to intervene to ensure that this hospital is not crippled by doctor resignations.”

He said operations would have to be delayed if anaesthetists resigned.

Bloom was responding to a report in The Times that seven specialists had resigned from the hospital in the past three weeks, and that many others were threatening to leave.

It reported that the facility could be downgraded from its status as an academic hospital if there were insufficient specialists to train doctors.

According to The Times, the specialists were unhappy because overtime pay was being reduced, leaving junior specialists earning only 5% more than registrars, despite having five years’ more experience.

Gauteng health department spokesman Simon Zwane told the newspaper specialists could no longer supplement their income by working in the private sector.

Before this decision, there had been a “gentlemen’s agreement” that government specialists would work 40 hours-plus overtime a week at state hospitals, if they could supplement their income with private work, an unnamed doctor told the newspaper.

According to the report, two of the hospital’s 26 anaesthetists had resigned and 11 more were expected to follow suit by the end of May.

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