The province is facing a healthcare crisis, as its hospitals and clinics are battling an acute shortage of staff, medicines and ambulances.
The majority of the province’s hospitals and clinics are unable to cope with multitudes of patients at overcrowded facilities, while the shortage of ambulances has exacerbated the situation at all hospitals.
The vacancy rate for professionals – which includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists – is estimated at between 70% and 75% in the province, with even the new, state-of-the-art hospitals in Upington and De Aar running on what some called “skeleton” staff.
The department of health is said to have no money to pay higher salaries to attract doctors and nurses from other parts of the country.
Due to the shortage, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe Hospital (formerly Kimberley Hospital), a referral facility, is unable to cope with the demand for specialist services and has to make transfers for operations and chronic cases to Bloemfontein.