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MBABANE – Come tomorrow, patients using public hospitals should not find themselves falling sick after hours.

This follows a resolution by doctors and hospital technical staff not to attend to on-call emergencies, starting from tomorrow.
The resolution comes after the Industrial Court dismissed their application to stop government from implementing its decision to pay 40 per cent to the technical staff and 60 per cent to professionals respectively, of their annual salary across the board for on- call and standby allowances.

Doctors and the technical staff were previously receiving 90 per cent of their annual basis salary as allowances. The on-call committee, in a memorandum addressed to the Principal Secretaries in the Ministry of Health (Dr Simon Zwane), Public Service (Evart Madlopha) and Director of Health Services (Dr Vusi Magagula), stated their complaint over circular No.1 of 2018.

According to the memo dated January 30, 2018, the circular was passed without any consultations with the health care workers. Another major contention by the health practitioners is that the relevant ministries came up with the figures and operational structures on their own, and it was for that reason that they did not want to accept the offer.

Another issue addressed by the memo was why the percentages were different as by virtue of grades, the higher the grade means that the person receives an advanced allowance.

The memo further highlights that the circular states that first on-call needs to be within the hospital premises.
However, such will not be possible as there were not enough on-call rooms and would not be sufficient before the implementation date.

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