Friday, December 1st, 2017
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, and the Department of Health, Solidarity advised that it was putting them on terms to comply with their statutory obligations to place community health practitioners for their compulsory community service year.
This comes after Solidarity had received numerous complaints from its members as well as from members of the public to the effect that, as yet, a large number of health practitioners have not been placed by the Department. Among the complaints is also a complaint that the placements of some practitioners that had been made, have since been withdrawn. “It has also come to light that the Department has not even started with the second round of placements concerning non-bursars,” Anton van der Bijl, Head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices said.
According to Van der Bijl, it would appear as if the Department’s failure to place students has become the new norm. “Earlier this year, Solidarity had success in court to compel the Department of Health to place Dane Hertz for her community service year. It is, however, clear that the Department and the Minister are not really concerned about health practitioners, while a serious shortage of health practitioners is widely proclaimed,” said Van der Bijl.
Johan Botha, Deputy General Secretary for Solidarity’s Professional Industry says the trade union is monitoring the situation. “The current situation is unacceptable and we will not hesitate to resort to the courts once more should serious intervention not take place,” Botha said.
Health practitioners who are experiencing problems as far as their placement for community service is concerned, can report their complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in a collective process to force the Department to comply with its statutory duties.