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Sama against striking over OSD

2010-03-02 22:17

Johannesburg - Industrial action is unnecessary at this point to resolve Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) related problems, the SA Medical Association (Sama) said on Tuesday.

The organisation for doctors said in a statement that while it reserved the right to pursue a legal remedy in the interest of its members, it did not sanction any industrial action.

Sama's statement follows those recently made by members of the Public Sector Doctors' Committee and affiliated groups such as the SA Registrars Association, about the possibility of an industrial action.

These statements were prompted by the organisations' unhappiness with the implementation and handling of the OSD for doctors by the department of health.

"Confusion, albeit understandably, has arisen that this is the position of the Sama. We wish to categorically place on record that this [possible strike] is not the official position or current stance of Sama," the organisation said.

Challenges with OSD

Sama acknowledged that many problems had arisen with the implementation of the OSD and that several challenges remained.

"However, an ongoing bilateral process between the department of health and Sama is and has been underway to deal with doctors' individual issues that have arisen either in the implementation of the OSD or, in some cases, its non-implementation."

Sama remained concerned about "very real problems" in some provinces with the OSD implementation and urged the national and provincial departments of health to work with it to sort these out.

The organisation also called on doctors to report their problems to it so that these could attended to as expediently as possible.