Gauteng health portfolio committee to assess impact caused by late salaries for intern doctors

Gauteng's Portfolio Committee of Health has welcomed Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa's intervention after her department failed to pay medical interns on time.

EWN reported last week that several Gauteng medical interns and community service doctors had contacted the news service, claiming that they had not received their January salaries on January 28, as expected.

READ: Doctors in Canada reject pay hike: 'We already make too much money'

It reported that it had seen WhatsApp messages, emails and memos informing the doctors – who are completing their community service year at various hospitals in the province – of the delay.

But the committee said in a statement on Monday that it understood that most of the interns have now been paid and the rest would be paid by Thursday.

Following the MEC's intervention, 1 337 community service doctors were paid.

The committee said it would assess the impact of the payment delay, as far as health service delivery and the safety of patients were concerned.

This comes after committee chairperson Nompi Nhlapo met with Ramokgopa to get clarity on the matter.

DA spokesperson of the executive council for health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, said he was "appalled" at the delay.

"It is totally unacceptable that they will have to wait a month to be paid."

Bloom called on the department to make plans to pay the officials as soon as possible, rather than give a poor excuse that violates labour law and will cause acute distress to doctors who have to pay their bills.

The DA cited a notice that had been sent to the new doctors which sated that January salaries would not be paid at month end "due to the late creation of posts at central office".

The notice reportedly said the posts had only been created on January 22.

READ: Unpaid Gauteng doctors will receive salary payment 'by no later than Friday'

"Unfortunately, it was not enough time for e-Government to process them before the salary run on 28 January 2019, therefore your salaries will be paid on/before 28 February 2019," it added.

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