06 March 2017
The Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng notes that tomorrow the 7th of March 2017 the MEC of Finance, Barbara Creecy, will be tabling her Budget Speech for the current financial year. We noted that in her previous budget speech when it comes to health she prioritised the following areas:
Filling of posts for teachers, doctors, nurses, and social workers
Investment on infrastructure through the allocation of 1,9 billion
An additional 1, 5 billion on health from the provincial reserves, the money was allocated to be spent as follows R590 million for the implementation of infrastructure programme, R158.9 million to address the pressure experienced in medicine and medical supplies, R587.1 million to provide for the payment of higher costs of municipal services and R213 million to continue funding the ICT infrastructure including electronic filing of patient records etc. The total budget that was allocated was R37.4 billion which represented an increase of R2.07 billion from the previous year.
While we appreciated the budget allocated, the Gauteng department of health continued to have challenges around the filling of posts such that they introduced a moratorium on the vacant posts which was contradicting the commitment of the MEC of finance as there are still vacant funded posts that are not filled and the department wanted to undermine collective bargaining by refusing to pay workers bonuses.
Our view is that the Gauteng Department of Health must publish their financial expenses report for the ending financial year before it can plan for the 2017/18 financial year so that we can be able to see if they were able to use their budget effectively and that there is no underspending while we have thousands of unemployed nurses and other health workers and that impacts negatively on delivery of quality health care. Aging infrastructure in the province remains a challenge.
We are making a call to all nurses and all health workers in Gauteng sitting at home and jobless to go outside the Gauteng Legislature and peacefully demonstrate during the budget speech so that the government and public can see that Gauteng health is dropping the ball on dealing with the matter of staff shortages and continue to rely on labour brokers to supply them with staff, which is an expensive process as opposed to filling all posts and creating more posts. We are opposed to the utilization of labour brokers because it opens room for corruption, exploitation and commercialization of health.
The challenges we are highlighting also place at risk the progress made by health workers in combating the spread of disease such as HIV, TB and strengthening of primary health care as preventative health care system that will assist us not to spend too much on health and have a healthy working nation and that will strengthen our economy to grow, especially here in Gauteng which is an economy of over R1 trillion rand and has potential to grow.
We are calling on Gauteng Treasury to unlock and allocate more funds in Gauteng health so that we can deal with the growing demand of health in the province. We also call on treasury to assist Gauteng health in strengthening its capacity to collect revenue especially from other provinces that use our facilities and fail to pay.
We will be outside the legislature as leaders of DENOSA and call on members of the public that want to see health improve to join us in highlighting the plight of having a good and responsive health system in the Gauteng province.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng
For more information, contact:
Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson.
Mobile: 072 563 1923
Facebook: DENOSA National Page