Gauteng State Hospitals Short
Gauteng state hospitals are short of 574 doctors and 1 209 nurses, but Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu says “there is no effect on patient care as the vacant posts are replaced immediately through walk-in applications and the annual block advertisement.”
This is according to a written reply by Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mahlangu “the majority of posts are vacant due to a process of natural attrition. Some positions are in the process of being filled.”
Scare Skills Required
She also says that “in health professional categories i.e. pharmacist, therapist and certain medical and nursing disciplines, scarce skills are required and they are not readily available for appointment in the Public Sector, thus the extended delay in filling these positions.”
The largest vacancies among doctors are the following:
- Medical Officer Grade 1 – 151
- Registrar (Medical) – 110
- Medical Officer (Community Service) – 78
- Medical Specialist Grade 1 – 60
- Medical Officer (Intern) – 58
It is also worrying that there are 17 clinical unit and department head vacancies.
The largest vacancies among nurses are as follows:
- Nursing Assistant Grade 1 – 184
- Professional Nurse Grade 1 – 340
- Professional Nurse Speciality Nursing – 141
- Clinical Nurse Primary Health Care – 88
There are at present 5 125 doctors and 27 873 nurses in Gauteng state hospitals, but many in the highly skilled categories are close to retirement.
MEC Mahlangu should not be complacent as the shortages do affect the quality of patient care and training needs to be stepped up, particularly in specialist areas.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222