Filling of funded vacant posts is critical to Health Department’s recovery

By: Jane Sithole MPL, DA Mpumalanga Premier Candidate

The people of Mpumalanga continue to feel the effects of former Premier, DD Mabuza’s 2016 decision to abolish 12 836 vacant posts in the Department of Health.

The DA will write to MEC Manzini asking how long she intends on denying qualified healthcare professionals fair access to jobs when there is a clear need for more staff at healthcare facilities.

The Health Department’s annual report for the 2017/18 financial year shows that the province has an alarmingly high doctor-to-patient ratio which is one of the leading causes behind the department’s inability to effectively cater to the healthcare needs of this province.

According to the annual report, Mpumalanga’s has;

  • 1 080 Medical Doctors, resulting in a ratio of 1 Doctor for 3 518 patients;
  • 78 Medical Specialists, resulting in a ratio of 1 Specialist for 48 720 patients;
  • A combined total of 486 Pharmacist and Pharmacist assistant, resulting in a ratio of 1 Pharmacist/Pharmacist assistant 7 819 patients;
  • 5 464 Professional nurses, resulting in a ratio of 1 Nurse for 695 patients.

These figures are further proof that the provincial healthcare department is indeed in a critical state and that healthcare professionals are seriously over worked with no plan by the department to improve their working conditions.

There is no reason why Health MEC, Sasekani Manzini, would continue to allow healthcare professional to work under such conditions when there are 2 095 funded vacant posts within the health Department. Filling these posts would not only relieve healthcare professionals, it would also improve the conditions at healthcare facilities that patients have to endure.

The World Health Organisation advocates for a ratio of 1 doctor to every 1000 people. Recently Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi stated that the DA-run Western Cape has the highest doctor-to-patient ratio in the country, at 1 doctor for every 553 people in the province, it is more than six times the ratio in Mpumalanga.

The funded vacant posts in the Health Department must be filled urgently to ensure that healthcare professionals and the 3.8 million people who depend on the state for healthcare are treated with the dignity they deserve.

It’s time for change in Mpumalanga that prioritises the accelerated deliver of health services and puts the people first.

Ends.

For media enquiries contact:

Dumisile Masuku

Spokesperson to the Premier Candidate

079 873 7590