It would take R10.6bn to fill the 38,000 vacant posts in the public health sector at the end of September, according to a response from Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to questions from the DA in Parliament. But whether this is a true reflection of the gap facing provinces now seems questionable, as the minister told Business Day on Tuesday night that the figures provided by provincial health departments were based on organograms that were "patently wrong". "I gave a mechanical answer to a mechanical question," he said, explaining that the 38,000 figure was the difference between the number of employees reflected in government records and the number of positions provincial health departments said they required. But provincial health departments could not explain how they arrived at their figures. The health department had finalised its assessment of the staffing needs of clinics, but had yet to do so for hospitals Given the budget pressures in provincial health departments, highlig...

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