Private hospital staff: We are money-making slaves | Fin24
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Private hospital staff: We are money-making slaves

Sep 21 2014 14:07

Cape Town - The debate on the high cost of private hospital care between the public, medical schemes and the largest private hospital groups, has now spread to private hospital staff, who regard themselves as "overworked money-making machines".

The debate on Fin24 intensified when medical scheme Bonitas earlier this month hit out at the largest private hospital groups, blaming them for the high cost of medical care.

Dr Bobby Ramasia, principal executive officer of the second largest open medical scheme in South Africa then said the three largest hospital groups in the country were declaring profit increases of up to 25%, while the average man in the street is struggling to keep up with medical scheme contributions.

READ: Debate on high medical costs hots up

Fin24 has been inundated with letters from users, including doctors that gave their opinion on why private health care is so expensive.

One Fin24 user told of nursing staff sleeping on their night shift, while others told stories of being overworked and underpaid. This week a few more private hospital employees share their experiences.

Fin24 user Ketseng, who says she personally works for a private hospital, writes: "We, the nursing staff, must always be robotic as it is all about profit and turnover.

"Though people working for government complain of their working conditions, their benefits and salaries are far better than ours. We are money making slaves."

Thando echoed her sentiments,
saying he fully agree that the cost of private health care is "exorbitant" and "staff members are underpaid".

He has been admitted twice as a patient in a private hospital this year alone and "the morale among the nursing staff is at at an all time low".

"More than one staff member have asked me for a position of employment wherever the conditions could be different as they are enslaved in a posh prison," he writes.
Sarie writes that she has over 43 years experience as a specialist nurse. "My take-home pay is R15 000. I look after a chronically ill relative and there is always too much month and too little money.

"Nurses in private hospitals are underpaid, overworked and treated badly. They are expected to work overtime, so no wonder nurses fall asleep on duty (not me)‎," she writes.

Another Fin24 user, a senior matron who works in a private hospital, writes that "it is true that the treatment of staff is bad, because all they (private hospitals) want is profit and nothing else".

"If you are sick it's a problem. You won't even know how they calculate your sick days, not even to mention the pay and benefits ...  most nurses have burn-out because of overtime."

The debate continues!


Two sides to private hospital care
Vicious cycle makes medical schemes expensive
Plea for more generous medical fee negotiations

- Fin24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyFin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views of users published on Fin24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

labour  |  health  |  myfin24  |  hospital costs


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