Doctors in disgrace

No one can deny that healthcare workers in public hospitals endure a heavy workload, long hours, poor conditions and low pay.

No one can deny that healthcare workers in public hospitals endure a heavy workload, long hours, poor conditions and low pay.

This has contributed to the exodus of doctors and nurses to the private sector and abroad.

But many of those who have decided to stay in the public service cause a huge headache for administrators, who have to deal with doctors who do not give their all in serving the people.

Some doctors in the public health system remain dedicated to their work, despite their working conditions. But the cheats who milk millions of rands out of the state's coffers for the barest minimum of work have forced the government into action.

Sources in the government and in the medical fraternity say that some specialists work in the hospital for only three or four hours a day and spend the rest of their time at their private surgeries.

This puts even more strain on overworked doctors, who are forced to admit patients overnight so that they can see them early the next day.

Six doctors at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha have been fingered and the provincial government has decided that all doctors will now have to clock in and out to make sure that they are paid only for work done.

We welcome this move and hope it will be adopted by other provinces.

X