19 local docs dismissed

2009-07-01 00:00

A TOTAL of 19 doctors from Pietermaritzburg were yesterday handed letters of dismissal.

Nhlanhla Nkosi of the KZN Health Department confirmed doctors from Grey’s and Edendale hospitals and Eastwood and Imbalenhle clinics have been fired.

Health spokesman Chris Maxon said 226 dismissal letters have been issued in KZN, which could result in suspension, fines or removal from the health professionals’ roll.

Maxon said the dismissals did not represent a total shutdown of the public health system. “We still have thousands of committed health care workers who have continued to provide optimal service,” he said.

SA Medical Association KZN midlands branch president Graham Ducasse said: “We are deeply concerned that doctors still have a need to continue to strike, and in particular, we are very concerned about the consequences of the court order.”

He said Sama cannot support industrial action. “[W]e intend to fulfil our obligations as a union and provide legal and other support for members.”

THE KZN Health Department has spent close to R2 million to move patients to private hospitals during the doctors’ strike.

Briefing the legislature’s finance committee yesterday before the department tabled its budget, Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said 86 patients were in private hospitals, 26 of them in intensive care units, costing R27 000 a day. “The bill is running close to R2 million,” said Dhlomo.

When The Witness requested information on days paid for, the department said it was not readily available.

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