NW doctors commended for their commitment

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

North West - North West MEC for Health and Social Development, Rebecca Kasienyane has commended provincial public doctors for remaining committed to their oath by not participating in an unprotected strike.

"I must commend our doctors for their commitment to deliver quality health services to all the people of our province and for allowing the bargaining process to take its course," Ms Kasienyane said, adding that she has faith in all parties that are represented in the bargaining council.

She noted that the health professionals' patience, including professionalism and commitment to their oath were an inspiration.

"I refuse to imagine what hospitals would be like without health professionals, we really need their skills. Our hospitals are fully operational in the North West and all doctors have reported to their respective work stations, it is work in progress," she said.

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has issued 226 letters of dismissal to doctors, who failed to heed the call to report back for work on Monday.

The department sought a court interdict from the labour court over the weekend, ordering the doctors to end their illegal strike, giving them an ultimatum to report for work on Monday. However, several doctors did not heed the call.

The doctors in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape last week embarked on an illegal strike complaining about the delays in the implementation of the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD), which is an adjustment of salary grades for public servants.

They have since rejected government's revised offer, which could see some receiving a salary increment of up to 60 percent.

Despite negotiations at the Bargaining Council between the department and the South African Medical Association, doctors from several provinces continue to participate in an illegal strike.

Speaking on Monday ahead of his Budget Vote in Parliament, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi said that government was confident that negotiations regarding the OSD for public servants will be concluded on Tuesday.

He said the 30 June deadline was not negotiable and would not be extended.