Eastern Cape doctors coining it in private

2011-08-26 09:51
Johannesburg - Eastern Cape doctors have been ordered to stop attending to their private practices while on the government's clock, the Dispatch Online reported on Friday.

Doctors were neglecting their core duties at hospitals and clinics while making money on the side, provincial health superintendent general Siva Pillay said.

He said that more than 40% of all state specialists were attending to private work in the province.

A survey by the department found that two specialists claimed R781 000 and R421 000 from medical aids for work done between January and June.

The survey, focused on Mthatha, found that specialists billed medical aids R8m in that period.

"It is crazy. They are supposed to be on site, working for the department but instead they are treating private patients," Pillay said.

"What happens during a medical emergency?"

The department would not lay charges against offenders but amend the policy dictating remunerated work outside the public service.

"We are amending it, making it stricter. Priority will be given to the government from now on," he said.

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