The Limpopo health department is poised to radically restructure its staff complement to try to free up more money for frontline workers and goods and services, according to health MEC Phophi Ramathuba. The department’s compensation bill has ballooned in the past decade, rising from 58.9% of its healthcare budget in 2008-09 to 71% in 2016-17, according to an analysis published by the Treasury as part of the medium-term budget policy statement last week. The department had gone on a hiring spree and appointed more than 5,000 "noncore" staff before it was placed under section 100 administration in 2011, said Ramathuba. As a result, it employed far too many clerks and administrators and did not have enough doctors, nurses, cooks and cleaners in its health facilities, she said. The MEC said she had submitted a turnaround strategy to the Limpopo executive council, which if approved, would enable her to overhaul the Limpopo health department’s staffing, review its budget allocation and pr...

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