File picture: Marvin Gentry

Polokwane - The Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) has expressed shock at the statement by Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba that employees’ salaries take the biggest slice of the budget because there are “wrong people” on the establishment.

“The MEC’s shocking admission that there are many people on the system who often seek outside input to execute their duties requires an urgent independent forensic investigation and serious action must be taken to rectify the situation," PSA Limpopo provincial manager John Teffo said in a statement.

"The repercussions of flawed recruitment processes and ‘job for pals’ schemes must be investigated independently and those responsible be held accountable. The department is already severely compromised by a shortage of health professionals in hospitals and clinics while people who cannot perform their duties remain on the payroll at taxpayers’ expense,” he said.

The PSA pointed out that the dire shortage of health professionals in the province was worsened by the fact that the department would not be absorbing health professionals who were completing their community service. The majority of health professionals were already leaving the province owing to the threat of unemployment or retrenchment as a result of their non-absorption.

“The irrational decision not to absorb health professionals will not only affect employees but also communities who will not have access to sufficient public health services. Inadequate employment of qualified health professionals has resulted into excessive overtime performed by a minimal number of staff. Urgent measures are needed to employ more health professionals to prevent a disastrous, total collapse of the Limpopo health system,” Teffo said.

African News Agency/ANA