Tebogo Msimanga |
The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says urgent intervention from national and provincial governments is now needed to address critical staff shortages at hospitals. The Association says hospitals are continuing to experience an influx of patients but there are too few healthcare workers including doctors to deal with the demand.
SAMA Chairperson Angelique Coetzee said a major consequence of the staff shortages is that doctors who are working are getting sick and experiencing high levels of burnout due to being overworked and stressed. Coetzee added that the current situation cannot continue and will, unless checked, lead to even great problems down the road.
She further said the Medical Association is concerned that a large number of qualified doctors who have completed their mandatory community service remain unemployed at a time when they are needed most. “For this reason, vacancies in hospitals must be filled immediately including those for Community Service Doctors (Grade I Medical Officer posts), as well as Specialist Posts.
Coetzee reiterated that it is unacceptable and outrageous that qualified medical personnel are left unemployed while doctors currently working are facing physical and mental exhaustion.