Outcry over dismissals

OPPOSITION parties reacted angrily to reports that more than 200 striking doctors in KwaZulu-Natal have been dismissed.

OPPOSITION parties reacted angrily to reports that more than 200 striking doctors in KwaZulu-Natal have been dismissed.

Doctors embarked on their nine-day illegal strike demanding better working conditions and better pay.

On Friday the provincial health department went to the labour court to obtain an interdict ordering the doctors to return to work.

But the doctors insisted that their strike would continue.

Negotiations on wage and working conditions deadlocked last week. Doctors in KwaZulu-Natal said the proposal was an "insult" to their profession.

DA provincial leader John Steenhuisen said he was gravely concerned about the dismissals. The department kept mum about any plans to deal with the situation as doctors are driven out of the public-health system.

Doctors in other provinces also continued their strike yesterday.

In Mpumalanga, patients were still being transferred from hospitals crippled by the strike.

The situation improved slightly as some of the striking doctors returned to work.

Provincial health spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said Themba Hospital in KaBokweni and other hospitals were almost back to normal. In Gauteng more than 50 doctors at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital downed tools yesterday in solidarity with their colleagues in KwaZulu-Natal who were dismissed.

Interns at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital demonstrated yesterday.

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