WATCH | 12 CEO positions still vacant at Gauteng public hospitals

2019-08-27 07:10
Newly appointed MEC for health Bandile Masuku at the swearing-in of members of the new Gauteng executive council. (Palesa Dlamini, file)

Newly appointed MEC for health Bandile Masuku at the swearing-in of members of the new Gauteng executive council. (Palesa Dlamini, file)

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The Gauteng Department of Health has revealed that at least 12 of the province's hospitals do not have permanent chief executive officers.

The province has 32 public hospitals under the department's authority.

"The vacancy rate itself correlates with the functioning and stability of a hospital, case in point is Mamelodi which has not had a CEO for a year. We have to fill the posts and start with the turnaround strategy properly," Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku told News24 during a video interview recently.

The Gauteng hospitals without permanent chief executives include Sebokeng, Mamelodi, Weskoppies, Pholosong, Far East Rand, Tambo Memorial, Jubilee, Edenvale, Heidelburg, Bronkhorspruit, Cullinan Care and Rehabilition Centre and Bertha Gxowa.

The acting CEOs at these facilities have been serving in temporary positions for periods ranging from five months to just over two years.

These positions form part of 34 senior management posts which are vacant across the province.

In addition, four out of the five districts housed in the health department are without chief directors.

ALSO READ: Gauteng department of health to fast track the filling of community service nurses' vacancies

"Our department is divided into five districts, we have four districts that need chief directors. The vacancies are caused by people who have retired, resigned for greener pastures and we ... take note that when institutions do not have leaders it affects the functioning.

"So we have undertaken as a new administration to turn around the institutions by filling out the vacancies," Masuku explained.

Acting posts costing R6m

In total, the department has 136 vacant positions in the entire administration, including head office, all hospitals and clinics.

The acting positions were costing the department approximately R6 281 871.52, between April and July 2019, according to Masuku

Masuku, however, believed the true cost came from the instability that arose in public facilities due to vacancies not being filled on a full-time basis.

As a result, the department has set aside R600m to ensure that this task is achieved.

"We have put aside about R600m on filling the posts in general, not just those of the CEO. The costs are not that much; in other instances you may think that because there are vacancies they look like savings but we know that in terms of functioning and the stability of the health system/public facilities itself it is more costly from that angle being the stability that it costs us and the problems that will emanate from that are more," Masuku added.

The department has set a lofty goal, aiming to complete the recruitment process by mid-September.

"We have already advertised the posts last Sunday - we will now begin with shortlisting, interviews and then we will appoint," Masuku concluded.

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Read more on:    bandile masuku  |  gauteng  |  health
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