FORTUNATELY good sense has prevailed and the government has granted distressed doctors in the public service most of what they wanted.
Though the doctors had demanded across-the-board increases of 50percent, signs are that they will accept the state's plan, which mostly rewards lower grades better than those already taking home fat salaries.
These are tough times for everyone and the national Treasury can cough up only so much. However, our public healthcare system is sick and much more needs to be done to nurse it back to health.
Next up are the nurses. They, too, are abandoning public healthcare for greener pastures at home and abroad. And they also deserve a living wage.
Our healthcare facilities are horrendously understaffed. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, himself a doctor and newly ensconced in the hot seat, is making all the right noises about adding staff.
His heart is clearly in the right place but we will hold his feet to the fire if he doesn't soon translate fine sentiments into tangible deeds.
The appalling conditions in which our public healthcare staff toil also need attention.
We can't only throw money at the problems and expect they will go away, for too often the administrators running the system clearly haven't a clue about what they're meant to be doing.
Mr Minister, you've made a fine start, but the road ahead will be arduous and long. We just hope that a clear vision and a strong hand at the wheel will get us all there.