DA ‘slams inexcusable treatment’ of Gauteng doctors as some yet to be paid

JOHANNESBURG – Despite promises that all interns and community service doctors at Gauteng hospitals would be paid their January salaries by Thursday at the latest, some doctors have been told that this will not happen, the main opposition Democratic Alliance said.

The provincial health department has acknowledged a delay in paying the January salaries of some interns and community service doctors after an administrative error in which their posts were not created on time.

Earlier this week, it undertook to pay outstanding salaries by February 7.

The DA said only 552 out of 1 378 junior doctors had been paid by January 31 while some were placed on special leave as they were not able to pay for transport and food. 

“Junior doctors at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital have been badly affected, and refused to work last weekend,” the party’s Gauteng shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom said on Thursday.

“This is inexcusable treatment of medical professionals who started their first jobs this year.”

He said the health department’s claim that the problem was caused by the late creation of posts was a poor excuse.

“It is yet another indication that the (governing) ANC in Gauteng is failing to fix the deep-seated problems in this department which has been plagued by corruption and mismanagement,” said Bloom.

The Gauteng health department says it currently has 1 528 trainees although the initial number it was allocated was 1 378. It says an additional 150 were allocated to ensure that all students in need of internship were provided an opportunity to complete their studies.

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