BuaNews (Tshwane)

16 February 2011

South Africa: Hospital Security a Concern for Young Doctors

Cape Town — Security at all health institutions should be tightened not just for doctors but also for those who visit health facilities, says the Junior Doctors Association of South Africa (JUDASA).

"Security in health facilities affects all of us, especially junior doctors who are based on hospital premises. Doctors are soft targets and we hope that this situation will receive the attention that it deserves," JUDASA Chairperson Mahlane Phalane said.

He was speaking during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Health to discuss management, accreditation and security in public health facilities on Wednesday.

Another matter which urgently needed to be addressed was the issue of staff shortages and the lack of equipment in the industry.

"There is a lack of equipment and a shortage of staff. We don't have the resources to help patients and something needs to be done urgently.

"This is what is kicking doctors out of the public sector and even out of the profession. The lack of funds and [training] opportunities will also kick doctors out of the profession. We have the capacity to train, but we do not have the funding," said Phalane.

Speaking on behalf of the Department of Health, Hennie Groenwald said the department has agreements with countries such as Cuba, Tunisia and Iran to have their doctor's work in the country. He said the department was looking into extending the agreement with Tunisia.

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