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Durban -The Health Department has resolved to provide counselling to doctors affected by racism at Pietermaritzburg’s Greys Hospital and to bring stability to the hospital’s services.

This comes after the department met senior management at the facility, representatives from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) School of Medicine and aggrieved junior black doctors after allegations of racism and bullying of the latter by their white and Indian counterparts.

The Daily News reported  on Thursday that the alleged ill-treatment was not only confined to presentations and execution of the interns’ duties, but the doctors also said they were deprived of time off.

A letter sent to the hospital management, dated September 18, requested intervention and had caught Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu’s attention. This had culminated in Wednesday’s meeting.

“This intervention is long overdue. It’s sad that some of our colleagues had to leave these facilities with sore hearts. The composition of this meeting on its own was not satisfactory because not all affected doctors were present. There is hope, though, that the situation will go back to normal,” said one doctor yesterday.

Department spokesperson Noluthando Nkosi said: “The department deployed senior managers led by Dr Gumede and Professor Ncama, together with Professor Dlova, to Grey’s Hospital. They met management, registrars and specialists. All stakeholders made a commitment to normalise relationships and improve the level of professional interaction and communication. The allegations raised will be subjected to a detailed investigation and if racism and bullying are confirmed, the department and the university will take action. In the meantime, head office and the university will come close to the institution to debrief, counsel and bring stability to the service and learning platform.”

Ashton Bodrick, executive director of corporate relations at UKZN, said four of their honorary clinical staff based at Grey’s were accused of racist and unprofessional behaviour."

Daily News