Slow progress in employing staff at the newly-built Jabulani hospital, in Soweto, will delay it being opened to patients, the DA said on Thursday.
Gauteng health MEC Hope Papo had revealed that 287 of 1047 staff posts at the hospital had been filled, said Democratic Alliance MPL Jack Bloom. "According to Papo, it is anticipated that all posts will be filled by June 2013, but I doubt that this will be the case," Bloom said.
Bloom said 549 of 650 posts for nurses were still vacant, and that only 14 of 50 posts for doctors had been filled.
Gauteng health spokesperson Chris Maxon said the hospital was not operational yet because equipment and safety checks were being conducted. "Once it is ready to operate, we are sure we will have a full staff complement," he said. "When we say it is open, that means a patient can come in for treatment."
He said it was "unfeasible" to hire the entire staff before the hospital opened. "If we employ more staff, it means that we have to pay them while they are still at home, waiting for the hospital to open."