Health min­is­ter let­ting doc­tors down

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Open let­ter to Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi Dr Zahid Badroo­d­ien

DEAR Min­is­ter Mot­soaledi, this past week, doc­tors around the coun­try, in sheer hope and des­per­a­tion, turned to you for in­ter­ven­tion on the per­ceived hu­man re­source cri­sis af­fect­ing your depart­ment.

How­ever, in­stead, we were scolded as if naughty chil­dren had over­stepped the bound­aries set by their par­ents.

In your at­tempt to plas­ter the cracks in your own depart­ment, you have let doc­tors – the back­bone of the na­tional pub­lic health ser­vice – down.

In the place­ment of in­terns and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice doc­tors, you fail to share the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties that plagued the place­ment sys­tem dur­ing the first round.

You do not share the fact that ap­pli­cants with spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tions who were re­jected by prov­inces were re­moved from the place­ment pool and only re­placed in the sec­ond round.

You do not tell peo­ple that prov­inces were al­lowed to ap­ply the spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion pol­icy with no in­ter­provin­cial uni­for­mity at all. How is this a fair process? Your depart­ment has adopted a Gestapo-like at­ti­tude in its ap­proach to all sec­tors of health pro­fes­sion­als, not at­tempt­ing to reg­u­late pri­vate mat­ters re­lated to mar­riage and newly es­tab­lished fam­i­lies.

You have shown that no re­gard will be given to the de­struc­tion of fam­i­lies and the men­tal well-be­ing of health pro­fes­sion­als.

Even though the em­ploy­ment of med­i­cal of­fi­cers may not be a statu­tory re­quire­ment for your depart­ment, it must still pri­ori­tise ser­vice de­liv­ery to the mil­lions of South Africans whose lives rely on a di­lap­i­dated pub­lic health sec­tor.

In­stead of blam­ing doc­tors for not want­ing to work in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, rather ask your­self how your depart­ment can im­prove ru­ral medicine for the ben­e­fit of pa­tient and health pro­fes­sional.

It is wrong to pre­tend these fa­cil­i­ties are ready to sup­port the NHI as you have en­vi­sioned it.

Your depart­ment has e-mailed ap­pli­cants to say that there are no va­can­cies avail­able. We have con­tacted se­nior mem­bers in your depart­ment and sub­mit­ted the names of un­em­ployed med­i­cal of­fi­cers who want to work in the pub­lic health sec­tor but can­not find these va­can­cies you have promised.

Min­is­ter, we re­main com­mit­ted to serv­ing South Africans and re­spect­ing the Hip­po­cratic Oath. How­ever, for health and pa­tients to pros­per, we must re­alise that we are a team after the same goal.

Kin­d­est re­gards, Ju­nior Doc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa Western Cape Chair­per­son

HOS­PI­TAL ROUND: Min­is­ter of Health Aaron Mot­soaledi and Gaut­eng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane in­spect the newly com­pleted ma­ter­nity ward at the awaited R730m Zo­laJab­u­lani district hos­pi­tal in Soweto at its open­ing.

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