Today's Big Stories

Health Department to rethink working hours of junior doctors

The National Department of Health says it plans to review the number of continuous hours medical interns are expected work.

The department's Deputy Director General, Dr Terence Carter explains that, currently, interns cannot work in excess of 30 hours per shift.

It does not say they should work 30 hours, it says that they should not work more than 30 hours per shift.

Dr Terence Carter, DDG at the National Health Department

The working conditions of junior and trainee doctors have come under the spotlight following the death of a young medical intern in a car crash.

Ilne Markwat was killed in the collision when she allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel after working a very long shift at Paarl Hospital.

Carter says that doctors are allowed to sleep during their shifts, and it is mandatory for hospital managers to provide sleeping accommodation.

However, he says that the hospital workload does not currently allow doctors to take the rest due to them.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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