THE KZN Department of Health is still reeling from the bad decision taken to freeze posts.
While the department is in denial over this, the reality is that red tape implemented when all posts were frozen remains in effect, with the result that the employment and placement of doctors remains problematic and in limbo.
Both the provincial department and Minister Motsoaledi’s spokesperson, Joe Maila, continue to refute the real reason doctors are sitting at home, unemployed.
The reality is that every oversight visit conducted by the Democratic Alliance in 2016 has confirmed that the department remains cash-strapped and that vacancies exist.
Worst affected by the situation are the patients in our province. This bureaucratic nightmare means longer queues for them as doctors - who are supposed to see everyone with a smile - become increasingly tired, frustrated and burnt-out.
The end result is more rude doctors and more mistakes, both of which is also likely to push the province’s R10 billion medico-legal claim bill even higher.
There is no shortage of applicant doctors in KZN - and most are prepared to work anywhere in the province.
All MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his department have to do is make sure that employing more doctors becomes a priority over spending money at church events, such as the recent one in Illembe where R500 000 was spent, instead of incessantly complaining there are no funds.
The DA will be asking the MEC some hard questions, as we always do. It is hoped the answers are swift and do not attempt to hide the real situation.
Dr Imran Keeka, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Health