SAMA speaks out on
None, Immediate Release
The South African Medical Association expresses its grave concern about the closure of emergency services at hospitals in the
Reports have been received that Bethal, Standerton, Secunda and
Of great concern is that patient care is compromised when interns who have to work under the supervision of a medical officer in a hospital, are now expected to work without such supervision. This problem has emerged as a result of the two-year internship programme which was introduced in 2006, as opposed to the previous one-year internship programme. It has therefore created a gap in the provision of Community Service doctors who normally fill posts of medical officers in peripheral hospitals when they complete their internship.
The Provincial Department states that they do not currently have the budget to finance additional overtime for doctors, and that funds will be made available when the new financial year starts on
In 2007 the South African Medical Association made suggestions to the Department on the envisaged shortage of medical officers for 2008. They were very receptive to the suggestions and advised different provinces to implement them to avert a crisis. However, some provinces such as
SAMA urges the Mpumalanga Department of Health to engage urgently with medical officers in the affected hospitals to ensure continuity of patient care, as well as considering the utilisation of additional capacity from doctors in the private sector who are prepared to assist in containing this crisis. We would like to urgently meet with the Mpumalanga Department of Health regarding these issues.
Issued by the SAMA Corporate Communications Department to the South African media on
Corporate Communications Manager - SAMA