Free State health dept promises to pay outstanding salaries

2015-07-14 21:12

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Johannesburg – The Free State health department says it will pay salaries it has been owing to some doctors for several months by Thursday.  

“The department is prioritising the matter and urgently attending to it, however, more than 60% will be paid this Thursday,” spokesperson Zama Lekhula said in an e-mail on Tuesday.

She said only sessional doctors contracted by the department - who are paid per session and who are not permanent doctors - were affected. They would all receive a once-off payment.

The Nala District Hospital, in Bothaville, was one of those affected. Seven out of its three doctors were sessional.

Lekhula said the province’s facilities were receiving “comprehensive attention” to ensure it did not happen again.

Civil rights group AfriForum said it had learnt from “reliable sources” that the doctors were promised payment by July 2, but were not paid.

“We reliably learnt that, in some instances, doctors were paid four months ago and that they do not know when to expect their next pay check,” said the organisation’s provincial co-ordinator for the Western Free State, Johann Hattingh.

He said district hospitals in Welkom, Hoopstad and Wesselsbron had the same problem.

In February, community new organisation GroundUp published a report based on accounts from whistle-blower doctors in the province's hospitals.

It said the claims could not be verified. The allegations included hospitals being in disrepair, medicine shortages, and doctors and nurses not being paid.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  health

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