The Gauteng Department of Health plans to fast track the filling of community service nurses' vacancies.
“The role of nurses is crucial in the healthcare system, they are the heart and soul of the system and the department will continue to prioritise them,” head of department Professor Mhululi Lukhele said in a statement on Sunday.
This comes days after the KwaZulu-Natal department of health secured 300 vacancies for nurses in the province as a part of President Cyril Ramaphosa's stimulus package.
The programme is aimed at boosting the public health sector through the creation of more than 5 300 jobs in SA.
Negotiations towards ensuring that the remaining number of community service nurses are contracted is said to be ongoing between the Gauteng department of health, the private sector and NGOs.
“Although the implementation of our recovery plan is beginning to bear fruit, it is appropriate to share that the Department is not yet out of the woods.
“We are faced with a challenge to manage the high compensation of employees,” Lukhele further explained.
The cost currently accounts for 60% of the department of health’s budget, making it difficult to create new jobs or absorb professionals, according to Lukhele.
Lukhele also assured affected staff members that despite challenges face by the department, work is being done to resolve the hinderances relating to placements.
“I would like to appeal for their patience and cooperation at this crucial time,” Lukhele concluded.