Minister says: No Moratorium on Medical Posts

No Moratorium on Medical Posts.

8 February 2016

The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi is highly disturbed by media reports that suggest that medical posts are frozen in the country.

The report claims that medical posts are frozen in Mpumalanga; Free State; North West; Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, according to the SA Medical Association.

Mark Sonderup, vice-chairman of the South African Medical Association was quoted as saying “The most expedient mechanism to achieve budgets cuts is to freeze posts”

“We want to put it on record that there are no medical posts frozen in this country. If there is freezing of posts by government departments, they have nothing to do with medical doctors as posts in the health sector are exempted. The country needs doctors to work in health facilities and therefore there is no way we can put moratorium on medical posts”, Motsoaledi said.

There is no freezing of posts for critical care positions that include but not limited to: Medical Officers; Medical Specialists; Pharmacists; Professional nurses; Paramedics; Radiographers; Community service posts and CEO’s.

Upon reading this disturbing reports in a daily newspaper with a headline “State can’t afford doctors”, the Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi contacted all provincial MEC’s and their Heads of department in the affected provinces and they all confirmed that indeed they have no frozen posts on their respective establishments. The MEC in the Western Cape also reported that they envisage no cutting of costs leading to fears that doctors will not be hired to replace those resigning at Groote Schuur Hospital and or any other hospital for that matter.

On the issue of Community Service Doctors, the Department of Health would like to place it on record that we have placed 1320 out of 1336 applicants with one due to be placed in May 2016 as he will be finishing the internship at the end of April this year. The other fifteen (15) are those who wants to be placed strictly at a specific facility and or location, not where there need is, failing which they plead unemployment. This kind of unemployment is self-imposed and has nothing to do with the state not affording doctors.

“Anybody who knows a doctor who is unemployed due to “frozen post” must forward the name of such a doctor to me urgently and I will make sure that they are placed by the end of next week”, Motsoaledi said.

The Minister would like to further reiterate that there are no Registrar posts frozen in KZN. The Department of Health in KZN finalized the intake of 44 and 33 Registrar posts in August 2015 and February 2016 respectively. Currently, there are 289 registrars in training across all disciplines.

It is ironic that the report suggests freezing of posts when only last week, the Limpopo MEC for Health offered SA Medical Association through Mzukisi Grootboom to provide her with details of  any doctor who needs employment saying her department will appoint them immediately.

Issued by Joe Maila, Ministry of Health:Spokesperson, 8 February 2016 

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