The Limpopo department of health cannot absorb about 400 nurses it trained last year as it has a budget crisis.
Yesterday, department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said the department had a budget of R20 billion this financial year to run day-to-day activities and pay nurses, doctors and officials.
Shikwambana said R5 billion went on employees’ pay and R5 billion was left for the department to purchase medication and food for patients and maintenance of public health facilities, among many other needs.
“We made it clear recently that due to financial constraints, we will not be able to absorb the 400 healthcare professionals who qualified last year and those that qualified this year.
“We will advertise positions when they become available. We can confirm this department is facing a budgetary crisis and until such time as we get out of the woods, we will not be able to absorb them.
“It is our obligation as the department to ensure we address the shortage of nurses, but our hands are currently tied,” Shikwambana said.
Acting general secretary of the Bolsheviks party, Seun Mogotji, said Limpopo had an acute shortage of nurses and doctors, especially in far-flung rural areas, and the nurses should be employed.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa also demanded the department hires them.