Mpumalanga health department vacancies cut to reduce wage bill

2016-09-01 16:15
(Joe Stolley, News24)

(Joe Stolley, News24)

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Mbombela – The Mpumalanga health department abolished 12 836 vacant posts as part of efforts to reduce a high public service wage bill, a spokesperson has said.

The instruction came from the public service and administration department and was aimed at all national and provincial departments and premiers’ offices, department spokesperson Dumisane Malamule said on Thursday.

The directive clearly stated that all departments in the country should reduce recruitment periods and vacancy rates, due to a public service wage bill that was far above the norm.

Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Jane Sithole said patients in Mpumalanga’s state hospitals would bear the brunt of Health MEC Gillion Mashego’s poor decision making.

'Debilitating staff shortages'

"This is bizarre considering that the healthcare system already suffers debilitating staff shortages, which in the end mean that the poorest of South Africans are denied decent healthcare," she said in a statement.

The figures came to light in a response in the provincial legislature to a DA question on the abolishment of funded and unfunded vacant posts.

Following the directive from the premier’s office in March 2015, a total of 1 374 posts were removed from the provincial department and regional offices, 8 841 from provincial hospitals and 2 621 from clinics and community healthcare centres.

Of all the posts, 3 120 were funded, Sithole said, citing the MEC’s response.

Malamule said the department did not deny that there were staff shortages in many health facilities in the province.

"In order to make sure that the department continues to fill critical posts as per the priority lists, a strategy has been developed which entails that prioritisation of vacancies," Malamule said.

Read more on:    mpumalanga  |  health  |  service delivery

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