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Campaign puts spotlight on junior doctors’ working hours

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The South African Medical Association is launching a campaign to create awareness about the long and gruelling hours under which junior doctors operate.

Its since emerged that many of these doctors often push themselves to the point of exhaustion.

This issue was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after junior doctor, Dr Ilne Markwat, died in a tragic accident.

It is believed Markwat fell asleep behind the wheel.

SAMAs Vice Chair, Professor Mark Sonderup says: “A good place to start is simply by raising awareness of what the extent and scope of the issue really is.”

“So we’ve come up with a very simple campaign. We are asking our members to wear armbands in public hospitals. The armband will colour-code the amount of hours people have been working,” says Sonderup.

The green armband will show that a doctor has been on call for less than 24 hours, orange between 24 and 30 and then red anything from 30 upwards.

“I think its really for people to see the person looking after them, how long they’ve actually been working,” adds Sonderup.

[Source: SABC News]
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1 comment

  1. I know of recently-qualified medical doctors who are twiddling their thumbs at home while waiting for the Western Cape Department of Health to place them into internship and community service positions.
    So much for the shortage of medical doctors and all the taxpayers money needed to train doctors!

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