Thousands of vacant posts in Gauteng hospitals, says DA

2010-12-13 14:33

 The freezing of posts is hitting Gauteng hospitals hard as they struggle with staff shortages, the Demcratic Alliance (DA) said today.

“Any new appointments now have to be approved by Dr Kamy Chetty, the head of the department [of health in Gauteng]... this is a retrograde move since it will add to the delays in filling critical positions,” said the DA’s spokesperson for health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom.

Provincial health department spokesperson Simon Zwane denied there was a moratorium.

According to Bloom the move was announced in a circular from the Gauteng health department sent on November 30, headed Further Cost Containment Measures.

The circular also announced that the ability by hospital CEOs to appoint staff had been withdrawn.

“We will certainly lose out as some doctors who were accepted on the basis of an interview will go elsewhere if their positions are not confirmed.”

Said Zwane: “There is no freezing of posts... there is no moratorium. We are doing this so there is proper management of staff... hospitals must send their recommendations for staff to the head of department and she will use the information at her disposal to make her decision.”

Bloom said there were currently 4 700 vacant posts in Gauteng hospitals.

“These shortages impact severely on patient care, adding to the long queues and waiting lists for operations.”

Zwane said the actual figure was much less.

“There are staff shortages in health around the world... from January more than 1 000 nurses are starting work in our hospitals and a number of doctors.”

He did not immediately have access to exact figures.

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