400 vacant posts at hospital

2010-05-29 00:00

EDENDALE Hospital is grappling with staff shortages as an estimated 400 critical posts remain unfilled due to the budgetary constraints in the Health Department.

This emerged during a surprise visit to the hospital by the Health Department parliamentary oversight committee yesterday.

The committee, led by its chairperson Zanele Ludidi, was visiting several health institutions in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

In the capital they visited Edendale Hospital and the newly built Fort Napier mortuary.

Ludidi said the new high-tech mortuary, which was built at an estimated cost of R74 million, will take over the from the Alexander mortuary which is in a dilapidated state.

During the visit at Edendale Hospital, which caters to over 1 500 patients per day, the committee was impressed by the general upkeep of the hospital, but shocked by the large number of vacancies.

The hospital’s CEO, Zanele Ndwandwe, revealed that the hospital is experiencing severe staff shortages, including critical posts such as nurses and doctors. She said they have an estimated 400 vacancies, including 84 for nurses, 65 for doctors and at least 13 specialist positions.

She said “We have about 67 doctors on full time and we have about 65 posts that are vacant, although we are now in the position to fill those posts as the moratorium has been lifted and we have been given a budget to fill them.”

Ndwandwe added that while the posts are filled, the hospital sometimes loses employees during certain periods of the year.

“In January and in July we normally loose many … but we are in the process of arresting that situation.”

Ludidi said they would push for the vacant posts to be filled as the moratorium is being slowly lifted.




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