Dennilton/Groblersdal: Patients, who seek special medical attention at Philadelphia Hospital in Dennilton and Groblersdal Hospital are turned away as the doctors are on a go-slow. The two health facilities have since joined the provincial picketing which has started on 31 March across Limpopo health facilities. The doctors are complaining against the health department imposed Circular 43 of 2020 and Circular 4 of 2021, which will force the implementation of standardized rosters. Other staff members in the hospitals did not yet joined the go-slow, however, there are rumors that they will follow soon if Limpopo Health Department MEC Phophi Ramathuba is not considering their demands. Doctors in affected hospitals are attending emergencies only and other patients, who seems not to be in serious conditions, yet in need to see doctors, are turned away. In a joint statement, released by organized labour unions in Limpopo, the standardized roster will ignore the institutional circumstances and will take away the flexibility of doctors. One of the patients, Julia Madisa, who was turned away at Philadelphia Hospital on Wednesday 7 April, told the paper that she was visiting the institution since 1 April to see doctors without any success. “I had been to the hospital on 28 March and was told to come and see a doctor on 1 April. I was told the doctors were not working since then, no one is helping,” she said. She said she visit the hospital everyday hoping that one day a doctor will see her. Neil Shikwambana, Limpopo Department of Health Spokesperson, said they are disappointed by the behaviour of some doctors in the province’s hospitals, who are continuing to neglect patients despite an agreement reached with all healthcare unions in the province.
“Earlier, unions threatened to embark on a strike action due to their dissatisfaction about certain circulars, particularly the once talking about shift rosters. Following an agreement with the unions, the department has since suspended all circulars indefinitely. However, there are some doctors who continue to neglect patients in the name of being on strike,” detailed Shikwambana.
He added that recently, some of the doctors demanded to meet the MEC to submit the memorandum.
“To the department’s surprise, the issues contained in their memorandum are the same issues that the department has reached an agreement with the unions about, including SAMATU which represented doctors,” he said.
Shikwambana said the department views this behaviour by the doctors as rogue and irresponsible.
“The department would like to remind them of their ethical responsibilities towards their patients,” he said.

Patients who need special treatment are turned away at Philadelphia Hospital in Dennilton as doctors are on a go-slow

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