It’s the age of austerity and it’s bad news for doctors, nurses and patients alike — unless the state can do more with less.
Almost 200 posts for doctors and specialists remain unfilled at Gauteng’s four academic hospitals — and many of these posts are likely to remain empty, the health department says.
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