Gauteng hospitals can only fill half of its critical medical staff vacancies — positions that normally go to doctors, specialists and nurses, Gauteng health department deputy director general for clinical services Richard Lebethe says. Hospitals were first informed about this via an April circular sent to hospitals.
The head of psychiatry at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Wendy Friedlander, says medical officers are feeling the strain of almost 80 vacant posts.
“Doctors [now] have a much greater doctor to patient ratio. If you have more patients, what you can give in terms of time, facilities and resources to each patient is much less”, she explains. “Every patient is getting less care than they should be getting, less care than what they are entitled to.”
Friedlander stresses: “The quality of care has plummeted.”
The psychiatrist is part of a committee of hospital doctors who have asked the provincial health department to unfreeze th