Our Opinion Daily dispatch, by Eddie Botha.
Other side of the coin
IT IS right that the 336 striking doctors at George Mukhari Hospital outside Pretoria and Jubilee Hospital in North West received letters of dismissal over a work stoppage, which centred on grievances over pay and working conditions. Doctors and nurses perform essential medical services and the refusal by the doctors to work – despite a Labour Court interdict forbidding them to strike – has indirectly been blamed for the death of at least one patient. It’s inexcusable and can never be condoned.
The remuneration issues blamed for the strike formed part of government’s Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), a grading structure based on competencies, experience and performances. The Health Department developed an OSD to improve pay and working conditions. It rolled this out for nurses over the past 18 months, but doctors were still waiting for their OSD.
But the department is also at fault. SA Medical Association’s Dr Phophi Ramathuba said earlier that despite a successful meeting with the department to initiate negotiations with the bargaining council, the problem was mainly due to delays by the department . Health spokesperson Fidel Radebe also acknowledged that the department made mistakes last year when the OSD for nurses was implemented.
At Cecilia Makiwane’s Mental Health Unit, nurses who had been excluded from the extra pay twice went on strike over the same issue and the matter has not been resolved yet despite promises by the hospital complex. During those strikes the doctors at the unit performed duties normally done by the nursing staff. They did so under tremendous work pressure.
Yesterday we reported that mental health care in Buffalo City lagged far behind government’s national target norm. According to a recent UCT Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health study, mental health services and human resources are limited across SA with 0.28 psychiatrists, 0.45 other medical doctors, 10.08 nurses, 0.32 psychologists, 0.4 social workers, and 0.13 occupational therapists per 100000 people. There are 41 psychiatric inpatient units in general hospitals in the country with a total of 2.8 beds per 100000 people. For SA’s over 40 million population, there are only 23 public mental hospitals, providing 18 beds per 100000 people – only 1% of these beds were reserved for children and adolescents – and the number of mental hospital beds has decreased by 7.7% in the past five years.
“Far too often critically suicidal patients have to wait for hours to be admitted and often they are turned away due to lack of space,” says SA Depression & Anxiety Group director Zane Wilson.
Only government can solve this problem.
IN THE WORKPLACE
New Research on Depression in the Workplace.
For more information please click here
To subscribe to SADAG's newsletter, click here
Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's
Click here for more info on articles & how to subscribe
Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.
The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..
We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.
- Click here to see speaking books in action
- Click here for sample book on clinical trials
- Click here for latest press release 1.
- Click here for latest press release 2.
- Click here to connect to international site www.booksofhope.com
- Speaking books for Health Care YouTube
Other Side of the Coin
Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students
0800 41 42 43
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787
MENTAL HEALTH CALENDAR 2018
Teen Suicide Prevention Week
11 - 18 February
Bipolar Awareness Day
Substance Abuse Awareness Day
Mental Health Awareness Month
1 – 31 July
Panic Awareness Day
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Mental Health Day
View our list of informative Infographs.
SADAG KZN Branch
SADAG have launched a new office in Durban with the support of Psychiatrist Dr Suvira Ramlall and Clinical Psychologist, Suntosh Pillay.
The offices are placed in St Joseph’s Hospital and are managed by Lyn Norton.
The KZN Branch is deeply committed to;
- Launching new Support Groups
- Workshops on aspects of Mental Health
- School Talks on Suicide Prevention
- Corporate Wellness For KZN companies
Please click here for more information about the KZN activities.
Want to become a volunteer counsellor? Contact Michelle/Christine 0800 21 22 23
Download Application Form Here
If you are interested in starting a Support Group, please contact Michelle on 0800 21 22 23.
To find a Support Group in your area, please phone SADAG on 0800 21 22 23.
If you are a journalist writing a story contact Cassey on
011 234 4837 /firstname.lastname@example.org