NON PLACEMENT OF COMMUNITY SERVICE DOCTORS AND THE NON RENEWAL OF COVID-19 CONTRACT WORKERS.

LIMPOPO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RESPONDS TO THE UNWARRANTED PUBLIC VILLIFICATIONS CONCERNING THE NON PLACEMENT OF COMMUNITY SERVICE DOCTORS AND THE NON RENEWAL OF COVID-19 CONTRACT WORKERS.

The Limpopo Department of Health wishes to respond to the unwarranted public attacks and villification due to non placement of community service Doctors and the non renewal of COVID-19 contract workers. The department wishes to put the record straight on both issues in the following manner:

  1. COMMUNITY SERVICE DOCTORS

It is important to note that the allocation and placement of Community Service Doctors is done by the National Department of Health through the ICSP system. Each year, provincial departments are required to confirm the number of funded posts in their province for community service posts per category of health professionals. The officially confirmed funded posts are then used in the ICSP system for potential community service applications and allocation.

For 2023 cycle, the LDOH confirmed funding for 232 community service: category Medical officers. However on request by NDOH, the LDOH agreed to fund an additional 30, bringing the number of funded posts for the 2023 cycle commencing 01 January 2023 to 264.

National Department of Health has allocated 261 Community Service Doctors to Limpopo and accordingly LDOH sought and received approval from its Provincial Treasury for allocation and appointment of 261.

As we speak those 261 community service have assumed duty in various facilities accross the province.

We wish to indicate that, due to the in- principle position of the LDOH to reduce the strife of statutory requirement unemployment, it has led to the NDOH requesting assistance from LDOH from time to time when they are stranded with unallocated Community Service professionals who are unfunded.

Towards the end of May 2023, the National Department of Health requested the Limpopo Department of Health to assist with 31 unallocated and unfunded Community Service medical officers. There was no budgetary provision from NDoH to take care of the 31 additional Community Services Doctors and the Limpopo Department of Health was to look for funding to salvage the situation.

Before the Limpopo Department of Health could find money to allocate the 31, the National Department of Health again on 14 June 2023 requested to be assisted with an additional 50 community service medical doctors. This number grew to 71 Community Service Doctors by 19 June 2023, bringing the total number to 102. After receiving 20 rejections for working in Limpopo province, the number was finalised at 82 at the end of June 2023.

It must be noted that although the allocation of the Community Services Doctors is the competence of the National Department of Health, the provincial department had agreed to try to assist by approaching the Provincial Treasury to allow the department to utilise some of the money accumulated through attritions of other medical officers who have left the department. So instead of replacing those attritions with permanent medical officers, the LDOH thought it best to assist those sitting at home because of statutory requirements to give them a chance to be registrable as independent practitioners in the near future.

Taking note of this background, the Limpopo Department of Health is flamoxed that it has suddenly become an object for attack, insults and villification for trying to help the stranded community service doctors that were NEVER part of its confirmed funded posts.
The LDOH will henceforth, review its in-principle position on assisting the NDOH when it has a crisis with stranded health professionals that are due to fulfil their statutory community service.

  1. CONTRACTS OF COVID-19 WORKERS

Just like all the other provinces in the country, the Limpopo Department of Health received a grant to employ additional employees on a temporary basis as part of the pushback against COVID-19. Among these employees, were Nurses, Pharmacy Assistants, Medical Officers and Administrators. When the COVID-19 subsided, the grant stopped and the province could no longer afford them. However, in Limpopo Province the contracts were extended to assist with the outbreak of Measles. But, due to the fact that measles outbreak is under control, the grant was also discontinued.
The department wishes to re-iterate that the contracts in question naturally lapsed, contrary to the incorrect and popular narrative that the department terminated the contract of these workers.
The LDOH did NOT terminate any contract.

What is even more worrying is that on the band of attackers are organised labor unions and opposition political parties who are expected to understand this simple logic if they are indeed worth their salt. But it could be that following the issues right where they originated will not fit into their narrative of publicly attacking the Limpopo Department of Health, an act that see to be fashionable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *