JHB doctors still owed overtime pay

SAMA says it would be useless for public health workers to strike for not getting paid for overtime.

FILE: Patients waiting in the queue at a Johannesburg state hospital. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The South African Medical Association (SAMA) on Saturday said the Gauteng Health Department (GED) has not been able to commit to a date when doctors who are owed money for overtime will be paid.

Dozens of doctors at hospitals on the East Rand are planning to stop working additional overtime shifts because they have not been paid for them since September 2012.

The association's chairperson Dr. Phophi Ramathuba said the abuse of overtime by two doctors was a result of weak management.

"Where there is a problem of overtime it is due to weak management."

She says all doctors' salaries for overtime were under extreme scrutiny for this, which may prompt an exodus to the private sector.

"They will say we must go to the private sector and pay them more."

Ramathuba said a strike by public health servants was highly unlikely.

"It would defeat the purpose."

Instead, SAMA wants to improve the image of the public health sector, she said.

Sama and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa will meet with Health Minster Aaron Motsoaledi next week to discuss the bone of contention and other issues that have plunged the sector into a crisis.