The Democratic Alliance’s spokesperson on health Jack Bloom says the anger and frustration by picketing staff at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto south of Johannesburg are justifiable.
There’s also a reported staffing backlog which is said to be exacerbated by the closure of the fire-damaged Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Bloom says problems at the Gauteng Health Department started before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary posts can’t be renewed
The Gauteng Health Department says it is unable to renew all the 8 000 COVID-19 temporary posts due to budgetary constraints. It says the initial COVID-19 grant budget of R2.2 billion towards compensating these workers has since been reduced to R1.1 billion for the 2022/23 financial year.
Therefore, the department will not be able to renew all the temporary contracts when their contracts end at the end of this month.
Gauteng Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana, “In as much as the GDoH wants to keep all COVID-19 appointees to continue providing much-needed services, it is not possible to extend all the contracts without funding. The MEC added that the decision on which employees will be appointed will be based on service needs at each hospital and the availability of the budget in each facility.”