Govt Fires 77 Striking Doctors

The government on Tuesday sacked 77 doctors after disciplinary hearings held over their refusal to end a strike over a pay dispute. They were dismissed for absenteeism.

According to HSB chairman, Dr Paulinus Sikosana, the doctors were being charged in terms of section 4 of the Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct), Regulations, Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006 (the Code). Said Sikhosana:

77 of the 80 doctors were found guilty of absenting themselves from duty without leave or reasonable cause for days ranging from five or more and discharged from the health service.

Doctors have been on strike for over two months citing incapacitation. The Labour Court in October ruled that the strike action was illegal and gave the Health Services Board authority to take disciplinary action against the doctors.

The doctors’ strike has paralysed service delivery at public health institutions and the dismissal of the 77 doctors may worsen the situation.

More doctors face the chop as the hearings being conducted by the HSB are expected to be concluded by November 15 2019.

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