Overtime cut hits services in Gauteng hospitals

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Cuts in overtime for doctors and nurses in Gauteng public hospitals is hitting services in Gauteng hospitals, and has been blamed for a number of patient deaths.

It is particularly bad for clinics and hospitals on the East Rand and in the Vaal area.

I am horrified by the report that the cutbacks have led to five deaths in the past two months at the Johan Heyns Clinic in Vanderbijlpark.

According to Simphiwe Gada of the Democratic Nurses Organisation of SA, there were no doctors there yesterday and on Sunday, and people die because nurses can’t prescribe medicine.

At East Rand hospitals, junior doctors are covering for specialists because of the overtime cut, which is risky for patients especially after-hours and on weekends.

Whilst there have been overtime abuses, the cuts have been too sweeping and don’t take account of local circumstances at each hospital.

Dissatisfied doctors are threatening to leave, which would hit services further.

Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo must move quickly to ensure that the overtime issue is resolved in the best interests of staff and patients.

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