Provincial Health Department says it doesn't have the money to hire them, and they can't go elsewhere because they are bursary recipients who are meant to serve the Limpopo government for a period after qualifying
THOUGH Limpopo is experiencing a serious shortage of doctors, a number of medical practitioners are unemployed because the government cannot hire them.
With a population of more than five million people, the province needs at least 6,000 doctors to deal with the demands of patients needing medical attention.
The province currently has fewer than 1,000 doctors working in various health institutions.
Sowetan has learnt that more than 200 qualified doctors, who were bursary holders of the provincial Department of Health, are still without jobs because the department cannot employ them owing to financial constraints.
The doctors cannot look for work anywhere else because they are supposed to serve the Limpopo government for a period after qualifying.
The Limpopo department of health is one of the five that were placed under administration following allegations of financial mismanagement.
Provincial MEC for health Norman Mabasa confirmed yesterday that they had not been able to employ the jobless doctors because there was no money.
"It is true that there are many doctors who are jobless because my department cannot employ them due to financial constraints," Mabasa said.
"I have approached the national ministry for funds to allow us to employ doctors and other professionals.
"We know that generally we have a shortage of doctors. But we cannot cry about the shortage when we do not employ them."
Mabasa said he had signed for at least 88 doctors to be appointed soon.
"In the previous budget there was no provisions for employing doctors because that was not budgeted for.," Mabasa said.
"But I am having discussions with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to make sure that we get the doctors before they vanish to other countries or provinces where they will be employed."