Gauteng’s health ministry said on Thursday it would have liked to retain all temporary Covid-19 staff in public hospitals, but the department was unable to do so due to budget constraints.
Temporary Covid staff
The appointed critical staff, more than 800, provided services to ensure that Gauteng Province responded effectively to the various stages of managing the pandemic.
Their contracts were for 12 months as announced during fiscal year 2020/2021.
The contracts were initially extended after the division received funds for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Several posts were created including administrative and support staff, affiliated, clinical, technical and nursing staff.
The department had received a Covid-19 grant budget of R2.2 billion for workers’ compensation to respond to the pandemic.
“The budget enabled the department to appoint critical personnel on contract from 2020 onwards.
“The initial amount has since been reduced to R1.1 billion for the 2020/23 fiscal year. As a result, the department cannot extend all temporary contracts.” said the department in a statement†
The appointment of temporary staff was intended to address the insufficient capacity where necessary.
The contracts were to end at the end of March 2022.
“The allocated amount will not be sufficient to cover the total costs of the reappointment of all categories of employees with a contract for the fiscal year 2022/2023.
“While the GDoH wants to retain all Covid-19 appointees to continue providing much-needed services, it will not be possible to renew all contracts without funding,” said Gauteng Health MEC Dr. Nomathemba Mokgethi.
Mokgethi added that the decision on which employees to hire would be based on the service needs in each hospital and budget availability in each facility.