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‘We can’t be jobless, while patients suffer,’ unemployed doctors take fight to Union Buildings

todayFebruary 27, 2024 37

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Young, unemployed doctors say funding in the healthcare system must be prioritised for meaningful job creation in the sector.

They were speaking in Pretoria yesterday, at the back of a picket demanding the immediate employment of hundreds of jobless healthcare professionals.

The healthcare workers say they cannot remain jobless, while public healthcare workers buckle under pressure due to a shortage of staff at the country’s hospitals and clinics.

They’ve bemoaned budget cuts and a lack of adequate funding as some of the hiccups in the health department.

The young doctors say someone should be held accountable for government’s failure to absorb them into the healthcare system after training.

Speaking to YNews, march organiser, Dr Emeran Thomas, said solving financial mismanagement would be the first step towards dealing with the problem.

The healthcare workers are also demanding an end to budget cuts in the healthcare sector.

The protest is of several others that have rocked parts of the country recently with jobless medical professional graduates venting their frustrations.

Last week, the National Treasury added R3.7 billion to the health sector’s R848 billion for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The additional R3.7 billion budget is for the compensation of employees in the sector for the financial year 2024/25 to address the wage bill increase and the recruitment of additional staff, including nurses and medical doctors.

The health department has promised to, soon, outline its recruitment plans and the appointment of health workers, including recently graduated health professionals and unemployed medical doctors. Written by Naomi Kobbie

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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