NEHAWU Western Cape Calls for the Immediate Re-instatement Of All Medical Personnel Due For Community Service
Friday January 07, 2022
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the Eastern Cape is extremely shocked by the decision of the Provincial Department of Health in terminating contracts of Healthcare Professionals.
The department has unilaterally terminated contracts of 2748 Community Healthcare Workers, 631 Nurses and 91 Doctors that are supposed to complete their community service. As NEHAWU, we believe this decision is ill-conceived.
The termination of these contracts represents nothing else but a jobs bloodbath amidst a dire shortage of medical practitioners across various health centres in the province. What is even more bizarre about this decision, is that the Department of Health had invested on some of these workers through funding [bursaries] their studies. In terms of their bursary contracts, they are obligated to do community service equivalent to the number of years they have been sponsored.
The failure to adhere to the bursary contracts further exposes the department to litigation for the immediate absorption of all outstanding clinical personnel in line with the directive of the Public Service Regulations. The failure to employ or place more than 91 doctors and 631 nurses on community service represents nothing else but recklessness from the side of the department.
The department cannot use budget constraints as a justification for their decision when they have not been able to prevent escalating Medico Legal costs. The escalation of Medico-Legal costs clearly demonstrates the incompetence of Senior Managers in managing the finances of the department. There hasn’t been any effort done in the past years to reduce the occurrence of these cases. As NEHAWU, we will not rest until there is a commitment to deal with those Senior Managers that have been dragging their feet whilst the department continues to bleed financially. In this regard, we call for heads to roll and the National Department of Health to urgently intervene in preventing a catastrophic health crisis in the Eastern Cape.
As NEHAWU, we call on the provincial department to retain these workers in the health system as a matter of urgency. The department must come up with mechanism to address this situation, failure to do so, the union will be left with no option than go to the streets to demand the reinstatement of these Healthcare workers.
These healthcare workers have brought about a lot of relief to the overburden healthcare system that has a high vacancy rate in various hospitals and clinics. Their absence will be felt largely by communities of the province. This decision to terminate their contracts surely will reverse the strides of improving our healthcare system and the fight against COVID-19.
Lastly, as NEHAWU, we want to make it categorically clear that we will not allow the department to collapse the healthcare system in Eastern Cape.
Issued by NEHAWU Eastern Cape Secretariat For more information, please contact: Mlu Ncapayi (Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary) at 063 685 1923 or email Mlungiseleli@nehawu.org.za or Sweetness Stokwe (Eastern Cape Provincial Deputy Secretary) at 063 685 1904 or email: SweetnessS@nehawu.org.za
Issued by NEHAWU Eastern Cape Secretariat
For more information, please contact: Mlu Ncapayi (Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary) at 063 685 1923
email Mlungiseleli@nehawu.org.za or Sweetness Stokwe (Eastern Cape Provincial Deputy Secretary) at 063 685 1904