Junior doctors armband campaign to highlight work hours

Today saw the start of a campaign by junior doctors where they will wear armbands to show how many hours they have been working.

The doctors will wear colour coded green and yellow bands to indicate hours worked. A red band will indicate they are not properly alert.

Stephen Grootes speaks to the vice-chairman of South African Medical Association, Dr Mark Sonderup.

The campaign is years if not decades in the making. The whole issue around working hours for doctors, and especially junior doctors is nothing new, and the consequences of excessive hours is nothing new.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, South African Medical Association

Sonderup says there have been numerous examples of doctors coming to self-harm in motor vehicle accidents because of long shifts.

He says SAMA needs to take leadership in this campaign and it is the start of a process to highlight the issues in the public domain.

But it goes far beyond just an armband campaign. It requires real changes, bringing hours into line with best international practices.

The issue points to staff shortages and the need to rectify this.

Listen to the interview below:

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