Sunday, 14 July, 2024
HomeNews UpdateSama warning as Limpopo Health aims to slash doctors' long hours

Sama warning as Limpopo Health aims to slash doctors' long hours

The Limpopo Health Department has defended its proposals to amend its healthcare workers’ shift systems – including the reduction of doctors’ overtime hours – which the South African Medical Association (Sama) says could affect the “terms and conditions of members’ employment”.

However, the department said it had taken into account a number of factors when devising the proposed system, including a high medico-legal claims bill, partly linked to doctors working extraordinarily long hours, reports News24.

Last February, the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) expressed alarm over the number of medico-legal claims brought against the department, which amounted to R14bn.

Department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said the negligence claims dated back to the 2014/2015 financial year, and that most cases were still subject to investigations and were yet to reach the courts.

Sama spokesperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa said the association had cautioned the department that implementing the proposed shift system might have severe prejudicial consequences for doctors.

“It may also have the effect of unilateral changes to the terms and conditions of its members’ employment and, in particular, to the commuted overtime system.”

But Shikwambana said the department had just brought in a contingent of 400 doctors for the province.

“This means we got more help, and we have to place them to get maximum value for money. We are dealing with several factors, including a high bill of medico-legal claims. Doctors are not robots; they are human beings who get tired,” he said.

When doctors get tired, mistakes happen, he added.


News24 article – ‘Doctors are not robots’: SAMA worried about new shift system for Limpopo healthcare workers (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Limpopo Health MEC calls for law reform to stem medico-legal liability


SIU to probe waste management corruption allegations at Limpopo Health


Delayed treatment of broken ankle costs Limpopo Health R4.8m


Health workers milked state of R2bn — Limpopo Health







MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appreciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.