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Gauteng Health pays junior doctors’ salary arrears

After complaints from the SA Medical Association (SAMA) over the non-payment of medical interns working at state hospitals in Gauteng, the provincial Health Department has confirmed that 53 junior doctors have been paid their outstanding salaries for January and February this year.

The Citizen reports that department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said out of the 56 medical interns who were yet to be paid their salaries for two months, 53 were paid by Monday (7 March). She said the payment of outstanding salaries for the other three interns was under way.

SAMA last week condemned the non-payment of medical interns in the province, saying it was disturbing that senior doctors at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto had to assist the unpaid interns from their own pockets.

Meanwhile, the department of health has been criticised for paying expert Cuban doctors in South Africa high salaries despite expired contracts and unemployed local doctors.

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) MPL and spokesperson for health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, said the department had spent R30.3m on Cuban doctors last year and still employed 14 who earned between R78,000 and R91,000 a month.

Provincial Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said some Cuban doctors were still employed due to a government-to-government agreement by South Africa in 1996. She confirmed 14 Cuban doctors were at primary health care facilities.

“Cuba as a country is known for having the best health outcomes and its experience in prevention and health promotion would assist in strengthening the district health system,” Mokgethi said.

“The Cuban National Doctors also serve as mentors and coaches for the doctors who are placed at primary health care facilities, especially the South African Cuban-trained doctors.”

Bloom said the contract for the 28 Cuban doctors employed in May 2020 for a one-year contract expired in May last year.

He said the department should spend on South Africans rather than waste on Cuban doctors and that expensive Cuban medical training was being probed for suspected corruption.

 

The Citizen article – Gauteng health dept confirms 53 medical interns paid outstanding salaries (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Unlike the Cubans, the supernumerary registrars battle COVID-19 unpaid

 

Gauteng Health fails to pay full January salaries to dozens of doctors

 

Motsoaledi says he is 'highly distressed' over unpaid junior doctors

 

Doctors must not work until they are paid – Sama

 

SIU investigation into Cuban doctor training programme

 

 

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