Jobs crisis: Should doctors work for free?

Cape Town - There are jobs available for doctors, but hospitals are seemingly unable to pay them, according to a Fin24 user.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi refuted widespread claims that there were not enough posts for trainee doctors and pharmacists in the country. This apparent job crisis was attributed to the government's alleged failure to place them into posts, and to a shortage of posts.

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He said in some cases, those claiming they could not find work were being picky about where they wanted to work.

Motsoaledi said the figure of 135 doctors, quoted in the media who are said to be without jobs, may contact the health department.

READ: Motsoaledi takes swipe at 'picky' doctors

"We can advise them of the available posts. It is up to them to choose from among these, but they can't claim to be unemployed."

He explained that after completing their community service, most doctors could either specialise, go into private practice, or do something else in the industry.

Motsoaledi said for those who wanted to stay in the public sector, there were at least 147 posts available.

"I personally know at least three people, one is a family member, who has qualified as a doctor and is looking for work as a medical officer," wrote a Fin24 user.

His relative wants to specialise, but he said this is only possible to do at a public hospital.

"He applied and was accepted into a programme at a hospital in Pietermaritzberg, but on the same day he was told the post was frozen and there is no funding."

This post was for an anaesthetist, who is responsible for administering local or general anaesthetic.

He said the post is allegedly frozen, with funds potentially coming later in the year.

"It is infuriating to read the word of the health minister insulting these doctors for being picky. There are literally no posts available to specialise in the KZN region or any other region for that manner," he claimed.

"The full story is not being reported and the minister is insinuating that these doctors are too lazy or picky to find work. The truth is that it is difficult to find work and for the posts that are available on successful admittance, they say that there is no funding to pay these doctors."

He questioned why doctors should work for free when they too have living expenses.

Disclaimer: All letters and comments published in Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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