Reduced working hours for medical interns will only be effective if they are implemented hand-in-hand with other measures, says health expert Dr Mark Sonderup.
This comes after the announcement that the shifts for junior doctors in the Western Cape will be reduced from 30 hours to 24.
The provincial Department of Health reduced the number of expected working hours following an outcry by the medical fraternity, but Sonderup explains that there is still more to be done to achieve progress.
He says there needs to be more doctor trainee programmes and medical intern positions made available in order to to fill the gap created by the shift changes.
In addition, Sonderup says that more medical students are needed in universities to help with the growing patient load in the public health care system.
It's clearly a step in the right direction.. but there are nagging issues. The elephant in the room is the post numbers.— Dr Mark Sonderup, Vice-chairman of the South African Medical Association
The patient load is not going to go away, nor is the service need. We really do need more capacity. We need to be training more doctors.— Dr Mark Sonderup, Vice-chairman of the South African Medical Association
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