protestTimesLIVE reports that disgruntled doctors at Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, in the Northern Cape, held a protest during their lunch hour on Wednesday to draw attention to a lack of staff and overtime hours that they claimed were leading to burnout.  

Close to 50 medical staff working at the hospital held posters saying “There’s no vaccine for burnout” and chanting “We want doctors”.  Their letter of grievances, which was handed over to hospital management during the protest, read:  “On average doctors are working their 40-hour work week plus between 100-140 hours of overtime a month. This is not sustainable and is leading to burnout and frustration among doctors.”  Apparently, the 327-bed regional hospital, which has a 24-hour casualty, labour ward and theatre complex, is staffed by 36 doctors.  The doctors say this is grossly insufficient to adequately serve the population in the area.  Reportedly, only one out of 10 Covid posts has been filled due to delays and stalling by the provincial department and despite orders from the minister of health for such appointments to be fast-tracked.  The doctors have threatened to hold another protest if their grievances are not addressed and they said they would consider staging a stayaway if they were not assisted by the department of health by next week.

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