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Mostoaledi to meet with campaigning med students

A Stellenbosch University student has started the “safe working hours” campaign and petition.

FILE: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday said he hopes to soon meet with medical students who initiated a campaign to prevent junior doctors working long shifts.

A Stellenbosch University student started the 'Safe Working Hours' campaign, which includes a petition calling for an end to interns and junior doctors working straight shifts of 36 hours.

The minister says he is keen to meet with the junior doctors.

Motsoaledi says he is well aware of the situation.

"I'll sit with them and listen to them. Then I'll be able to explain to them, what is possible and what is not possible. I'm quite aware that one of them has already gone to the Constitutional Court over community service, which has helped to send doctors to rural areas. He said it is slavery."

The minister says the long hours are part of being a doctor.

"The Constitutional Court did not agree [with him]. The judgment was against him, saying it's not true that it's slavery."

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