Health department wants overtime audited

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Health Department said on Sunday it would call in the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to audit overtime claims submitted by doctors in some hospitals.

“The department detected gross irregularities in the overtime claims submitted by doctors from Sebokeng, Kopanong, Pholosong, Far East Rand, Tambo Memorial and Natalspruit hospitals,” said departmental spokesperson Simon Zwane in a statement.

He said the rules were that overtime had to be authorised in advance and clear reasons be given for allowing it.

Zwane said measures were in place to assist patients at Sebokeng and Kapanong hospitals where doctors have apparently refused to work extra hours beyond their stipulated overtime.

Patients requiring emergency help would be transferred to other hospitals and the department was also recruiting more doctors for the affected hospitals.

The issue of Gauteng doctors' overtime payments has hit the headlines several times this month.

Earlier, the department announced that six Gauteng doctors were facing disciplinary hearings for allegedly abusing the overtime system.

At the beginning of the month, doctors at several hospitals in Ekurhuleni, and at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, threatened to stop working overtime because the department still owed them money for extra time worked. - Sapa

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