7000 medics on go-slow

ABOUT 7000 public service doctors aligned to the South African Medical Association will embark on a go-slow from today.

ABOUT 7000 public service doctors aligned to the South African Medical Association will embark on a go-slow from today.

The doctors said the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) payments "have gone wrong". Some doctors have not yet received their OSDs while others have taken salary cuts because their years of experience have been ignored.

The national executive of Public Sector Doctors said the Health Department's failure to properly implement OSDs has resulted in some junior doctors earning more than their seniors.

Public service doctors have warned people planning to visit hospitals today to expect more delays.

Dr Lebogang Phahladira, who speaks for the doctors, said: "We are hoping it (the go-slow) will gain momentum with more doctors joining us in the coming days."

Doctors embarked on a strike in May last year demanding 50percent wage increases and implementation of the promised OSDs. The action resulted in 244 doctors from KwaZulu-Natal being served with written warnings after they failed to report for duty while participating in an illegal strike.

The department lodged complaints against the doctors with the Health Professions Council of SA, accusing the doctors of participating in an illegal strike.

Last month the council served doctors unions with letters informing them that doctors who received warning letters would be hauled to disciplinary hearings. The doctors were given up until February 24 to respond.

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