25 February 2013

South Africa: Department Calls On SARS to Investigate Overtime Claims By Doctors

press release

The Gauteng Department of Health is to ask the South African Revenue Services to audit all overtime claims submitted by doctors in some of its hospitals.

This comes after the department detected gross irregularities in the overtime claims submitted by doctors from Sebokeng, Kopanong, Pholosong, Far East Rand, Tambo Memorial and Natalspruit hospitals.

According to the acting Head of department Ndoda Biyela excessive overtime claims by doctors are threatening the financial stability of the department and putting pressure on the budget. The department has put in place a strict regime preventing doctors from claiming unauthorised overtime said Biyela.

According to public service regulations overtime has to be authorised in advance with clear reasons for it. Claims have to be substantiated with clear evidence such as attendance registers as proof of hours worked.

The department has also put in place contingency measures to ensure that patients at Sebokeng and Kapanong hospitals are not denied treatment. Doctors at these two hospitals have announced that they will not be working extra hours above commuted overtime.

Patients requiring emergency medical care will be transferred to others facilities such as Chris Hani Baragwanath, Helen Joseph, Charlotte Maxeke and Rahima Moosa hospitals.

The department is recruiting more doctors to work at the affected hospitals to make sure that there are adequate numbers of medical personnel to attend to patients.

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