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Over 5,000 health workers recruited in Gauteng to assist with rising COVID cases

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With more COVID-19 patients hospitalised in Gauteng than initially expected, the Department of Health on Friday said it had recruited over 5,000 more personnel to man beds at facilities.

There are more than 7,000 patients currently in private and public health facilities in this province.

The health department says hospitals in the public and private sector in Gauteng are 91% full. Public hospitals have a 60% bed occupancy for COVID-19 positive patients.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is bearing the brunt of the health crisis, with Johannesburg accounting for the highest COVID-19 hospitalisations in the province.

The department’s Ntsakisi Maluleke said they were continuously monitoring bed capacity.

“For this current wave, we’ve added 5,541 health personnel. They’ve been recruited to man additional beds and last week we were given an additional budget to be able to assist facilities that had lost some of their COVID posts to be able to respond to this current wave.”

The South African Medical Association on Thursday said it would take government to court if all medical interns were not placed for their mandatory mid-year programme.

The national health department said so far 133 of the 288 intern posts had been funded.

Department officials said they were meeting with Treasury and provincial health authorities over funds to pay salaries for the remaining 155 intern positions.

These doctors say government has dropped the ball.

“It’s been quite frustrating being at home and unemployed,” said one doctor.

Another added that: “It’s extremely disappointing that they’ve not secured additional funding for the remainder of the posts. This is going to leave over 150 interns in limbo and cause further mental and financial strain.”

Sama board chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said it was unacceptable that these medical professionals had been left in the lurch.

“It is absolutely scandalous that these interns cannot be placed, especially at a time when out country so desperately needs every available hand to deal with the COVID-19 third wave that is sweeping across our country.”

 

SAMS THREATENS COURT ACTION OVER UNPLACED INTERNS

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) on Thursday said it would take government to court if all medical interns were not placed for their mandatory mid-year programme.

The national health department said so far 133 of the 288 intern posts had been funded.

Department officials said they were meeting with Treasury and provincial health authorities over funds to pay salaries for the remaining 155 intern positions.

These doctors say government has dropped the ball.

“It’s been quite frustrating being at home and unemployed,” said one doctor.

Another added that: “It’s extremely disappointing that they’ve not secured additional funding for the remainder of the posts. This is going to leave over 150 interns in limbo and cause further mental and financial strain.”

SAMA board chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said it was unacceptable that these medical professionals had been left in the lurch.

“It is absolutely scandalous that these interns cannot be placed, especially at a time when out country so desperately needs every available hand to deal with the COVID-19 third wave that is sweeping across our country.”