medicaldoctorCape Argus reports that according to unions representing doctors and nurses, a crisis in the public health sector is inevitable due to the Department of Health’s freezing of vacant posts.  

The move is meant to cut costs, but unions including the Cape Metro Health Forum say this could result in worsened service delivery in an already ailing public health sector.  The SA Medical Association (Sama), including Junior Doctors Association of SA (Judasa) and National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), said the policy by the department not to automatically fill vacated posts would, in the long term, “hurt the public sector” as many of the affected jobs were crucial clinical posts.  Such a move also added pressure on the existing health workers who often had to take time off and sick leave due to exhaustion and stress-related illnesses.  Department spokesman Mark van der Heever confirmed the department was currently reviewing every vacancy and only filled vacant posts “based on operational requirements”.

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