Media Release: Protest action impeding patients’ access to care is not acceptable – SAMA

22 May 2018

Protest action impeding patients’ access to care is not acceptable – SAMA

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) previously issued a statement condemning the consequences of the current protest action in the North West Province that is affecting hospitals, staff and patients. It has since come to the SAMA’s attention that the protest action has spread to health facilities outside the North West Province. Doctors and other healthcare workers are reportedly being prevented from attending to patients. Patients are reportedly also being prevented from entering hospitals to get treatment. In certain instances, it is alleged that some healthcare workers have joined the protestors.

The SAMA is extremely troubled by these reports and reiterates that these action are unacceptable. "Conduct during protest action must be responsible and ethical. Patients’ continued access to healthcare services cannot be impeded. It is both unlawful and ethically reprehensible for patients to be harmed during protest actions”
notes Dr M Grootboom, Chairperson of SAMA. "Should doctors join in the protest action, they are reminded of their ethical duty to always act in the best interests of their patients" concludes Dr Grootboom.

Notes to Editors
About SAMA
The South African Medical Association was formally constituted on 21 May 1998 as a unification of a variety of doctors’ groups that had represented a diversity of interests. SAMA is a non-statutory, professional association for public, and private sector medical practitioners. SAMA is a voluntary membership association, existing to serve the best interests and needs of its members in any and all healthcare related matters.

Head of PR & Communications
Dr Simonia Magardie
082 905 8505

Chairperson: SAMA
Dr Mzukisi Grootboom
072 633 1114

Spokesperson 2
Vice-Chairperson: SAMA
Prof Mark Sonderup
083 626 1909

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