Doctors warned of action if they strike

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The Health Professions Council of South Africa has threatened to take "the strongest possible action" against doctors who plan to strike next month.

The HPCSA, a regulatory body established to protect the public from unethical practices by doctors, stopped short of saying it would fire doctors who joined the strike.

"We will not hesitate to take action against unprofessional behaviour which will compromise the health of patients," said HPCSA registrar Boyce Mkhize.

Yesterday Sowetan reported that doctors were planning a strike next month to force the government "to improve their working conditions and salaries".

They are demanding a 50percent salary increase.

The South African Medical Association, which represents doctors, yesterday did not rule out the possibility of a strike should the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) not meet its members' expectations.

"We have a lot of empathy for our public sector doctors. However, we put our patients first and organising a strike would be a last resort," said Sama's chairperson of the committee for public sector doctors, Professor Mac Lukhele.

"The OSD implementation process has been rolled out for the nursing profession . but the implementation date for doctors has yet to be finalised."

Health spokesperson Fidel Radebe said negotiations on OSD were still "under way".