Mohamed Fareed Amod 0

Insufficient Job Opportunities For Community Service Health Care Practitioners

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We as the Community Service Practitioners need to be offered/given a fair opportunity at working in the public sector.

Currently we are experiencing a shortage of positions in the public sector across the board (be it Doctors, dentists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, etc.)

There is an indisputable need/demand for quality health care in South Africa.

Amongst numerous colleagues, we unanimously agree that the standard of health care service delivery has dropped and continues to do so as the numbers of practitioners available are decreasing on a daily basis.

For example, I practice at a District Hospital, which serves 13 CHC's ,in our hospital we have 250 beds as well as multiple outpatient rooms and facilities which have only 4 medical practitioners ,1 dentist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and 2 pharmacists.

Not only does the above mentioned statistics make it difficult for this community to access their basic human rights (entitlement to Quality health care) it also demotivates them from, firstly attempting to take preventative measures as well as curative treatment and as far as health education is concerned it seems to be a very distant topic regardless of its importance.

Despite the aforementioned problems, at the top of our list of concerns is the strategic plan for KZN health being implemented, presented by Chief Director of Non-communicable Diseases? Currently dentists are being replaced with dental therapists; doctors are being replaced with clinical associates at district hospitals. The scope of practice of these practitioners is limited and thus decreases the services offered to patients. This requires referral to tertiary care facilities for baseline care which further hinders patient motivation and compliance.

By continuing in this manner we will see an increase in mortality rates, increase in unemployment rate more individuals on disability grants, increase in severity of cases (patients not treated in the initial phases) and a long term decline of health care.

As health care practitioners we study at South African universities so that we can serve our communities, thereby assisting development of our country. Yet at the current time many individual seek employment abroad as private markets are saturated and public sector imploding leaving many individuals uncertain of a future in this country as health care practitioner. Loss skills will lead to a further decline in standard of service delivery in terms of health care.

Furthermore the unemployment rate is increasing exponentially despite many families sacrificing and taking loans to enable individuals to obtain health care tertiary education, only to find that job opportunities are insufficient to an extent that many practitioners even look at other professions such as teaching or brokerage since these unfortunately seem more promising with regards to job security.

In addition many positions that have been vacated are being termed ‘frozen until further notice’, and when asked to address this issue no definitive answers are forthcoming and leaves us in this vicious cycle. We find ourselves in a ‘catch 22’ situation where these chains of events seem impossible to break.

We recommend that the following be implemented:

We demand a revisit of this structure with specific attention given to placing sufficiently qualified practitioners who will provide comprehensive treatment, thereby rendering the waiting period for treatment shorter as well as improving access to fair and equal treatment regardless of place of residence.

We also strongly suggest that before implementation of any strategic plans, the job security of practitioners should be considered from an economic and health care perspective.

Communities which are rural based ad suffer from severe poverty whereby cannot afford basic human necessities such as food and proper shelter and in some cases water, Clinics and CHC’s are available, however practioners aren’t available except once or twice a year in some cases, these patients cannot afford transport to the nearest available hospital with practioners and wait for months to see a practioner that will finally visit their clinic and sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances he/she may not always be able to show up.

We demand current Community Service Practioners be given equal opportunity at state job vacancies.

We Demand the unfreezing of posts which were frozen simply because they were/are being vacated by the individual in the position.

We demand a higher value and preference be given to practioners with more comprehensive treatment abilities who can deliver management to patients at grater depths.

We demand that in a democratic country like The Republic South Africa every individual be given a fair opportunity to voice his/her opinion on an equal platform before decisions regarding our lives are taken without a unanimous voting/agreement from those involved.

Our predecessors sacrificed their lives for us to have these freedoms and its time for us to carry forward the work that they started, from exactly where they have left it.

We appeal to all practioners in all faculties to join us in standing up for what is right.

Help us in uniting so that our voices may be heard.

Let us make a change.

Change starts from you.

Put yourself in the position of the less fortunate, would your response still be the same?

You Matter.Your Signature Makes Big Difference.

Please sign this digital petition so we can make a difference TODAY, for a BETTER TOMORROW!!!!

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