Doctors now colour coded

New hospital an asset.

The South African Medical Association (Sama) has launched an awareness campaign that will highlight the plight of junior doctors who are working excruciating long hours.

Mzukisi Grootboom, chairperson of the association, says doctors can now wear colour-coded bracelets to demonstrate how long they have been on shift.

A green bracelet is for less than 24 consecutive hours, an orange one is for more than 24 hours, while a red armband means the doctor has worked more than 30 consecutive hours.

Grootboom says doctors with red armbands are clearly exhausted and must be allowed to rest before being assigned more patients and if they are compelled to work, they present a danger to themselves or their patients.

He says the campaign is not just about the long hours junior doctors work, but also a visible reminder that South Africa should employ more doctors to manage the workload.

Cathy Dlodlo/Courant News