Ricochet News

'Vacancies in critical areas undermining Eastern Cape health care delivery'

Aug 23, 2018
'Vacancies in critical areas undermining Eastern Cape health care delivery'

Many vacancies in critical posts in hospitals and clinics across the Eastern Cape is contributing to the ongoing health crisis, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says.

"According to national norms and standards, less than half (49%) the necessary numbers of medical specialists are employed by the province," explained Jane Cowley - the DA's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health.  

"Only two thirds (66%) of the required numbers of medical doctors are currently employed.

"This information was made available by the MEC for Health, Helen Sauls-August, in response to a question I submitted to her in the Legislature."

To view the response, click HERE.

Cowley said that, furthermore, 2 062 vacancies currently exist for professional nurses, 1 326 vacancies exist for enrolled nurses, and 1 602 vacancies exist for enrolled nursing auxiliaries.

"These desperate shortages result in inadequate care for patients across the province. This inadequate care is one of the major factors contributing to the high incidence of legal cases against the Department of Health," she added.

"While there have been moves to upgrade and update the staffing organogram in the province, the new organogram is not yet functional.

"This means that the staff shortages, and thus inadequate healthcare, continue unabated in our health facilities.

"Sadly, the poorest and most vulnerable members of society are worst affected. MEC – there are no more excuses for delaying the release of the staff organogram. Your inaction is killing the people of this province!"

Cowley said that in the neighbouring Western Cape Province, all staff organograms are complete and posts that become vacant, are filled immediately.

"As a result, the citizens of the Western Cape Province enjoy the most efficient and effective health care in the country," she described.

"I call upon the MEC for Health to release the staffing organogram for the Health Department as a matter of urgency, so that vacancies can be filled apace and meaningful health care can be delivered to all citizens across the province."