According to the recently released first quarterly report of the Gauteng Health Department, which covers the period April to June 2010, there are 3880 vacant professional staff posts - we are short of 1563 doctors, 2006 professional nurses and 311 pharmacists.
But little progress has been made in alleviating the severe professional staff shortage in Gauteng's public hospitals.
Only 396 out of 707 pharmacist posts are filled, which is a 44% shortage that explains the long queues at many hospital dispensaries.
28% of doctors posts are empty, as are 16% of nurses posts.
Only 19 doctors were hired in the first quarter, which was not enough to replace 35 doctors who left the service.
Ten pharmacists resigned, while 34 pharmacists were recruited.
The nurses situation is a bit better, with 270 new nurses taken on.
The problem in filling these posts is that there is a general personnel shortage aggravated by poor conditions in hospitals that deter applicants.
This highlights the need to remove the ridiculous restrictions on private sector training of doctors and nurses.
We are facing a medical skills crisis that requires both public and private sectors to work together to dramatically increase training.
Statement by Jack Bloom, MPL, DA Gauteng Health Spokesman, August 5 2010