Gauteng state hospitals are short of 574 doctors and 1,209 nurses, the majority of them ‘due to a process of natural attrition’.
The Citizen reports that a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has revealed. Responding to a query from DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom, Mahlangu noted, however, that “there was no effect on patient care, as the vacant posts are replaced immediately through walk-in applications and the annual block advertisement”. She added that the majority of posts were vacant due to a process of natural attrition.
“Some positions are in the process of being filled. In health professional categories, scarce skills are required and they are not readily available for appointment in the public sector, thus the delay in filling these positions.”
The report said state hospitals were short of 1,151 Grade 1 medical officers, 110 medical registrars, 78 community service medical officers, 160 Grade 1 medical specialists, and 58 intern medical officers.
“It is also worrying that there are 17 clinical unit and department head vacancies,” Bloom is quoted in the report as saying.
The largest vacancies among nurses were 1,184 vacancies for Grade 1 nursing assistants, 1,340 Grade 1 professional nurses, 141 speciality nurses and 88 primary health clinical nurses.
“MEC Mahlangu should not be complacent as the shortages do affect the quality of patient care and training needs to be stepped up,” Bloom noted.