Staff shortages affecting hospitals

2012-08-31 12:50

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Durban - The shortage of staff in KwaZulu-Natal hospitals was affecting service delivery with hospitals in the rural areas being the most affected, the Witness reported on Friday.

A report presented by the department of health revealed that 18 hospitals were without chief executive officers, there were 2 339 vacant post for doctors out of a total of 5 193 posts, including interns, community service staffers and registrars.

There were 292 vacant pharmacists’ posts out of a total of 910 including pharmacy interns and community service.

Also 3 984 posts for nurses were vacant out of a total of 172 999 posts, 666 vacant specialists posts out of a total of 1 216 and 233 ambulances were operating however the department had 360 ambulances but not the staff to run them.

Provincial health spokesperson Desmond Motha said the money was budgeted for the vacant posts and they had already been advertised, but they were not attracting the people needed.

SA Medical Association branch president Dr Jacob Mphatshwe said the scarcity of doctors hit rural areas the most because of demanding conditions.

Doctors also preferred the urban lifestyle for schooling for their children, accessibility to malls and recreation, Mphatshwe said.

Department head Sibongile Zungu said staff opted for urban facilities despite being offered rural, scare skills and other allowances.

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