Eastern Cape Healthcare Officials Fight for Their Jobs After the Department Refuses to Renew Contracts

Eastern Cape Healthcare Officials Fight for Their Jobs After the Department Refuses to Renew Contracts

  • A number of healthcare officials in the Eastern Cape have found themselves jobless after the Department of Health stated that contracts will not be renewed
  • A group of 30 of the now unemployed have journeyed to the department's head office to fight for their jobs
  • South Africans are saddened that frontline workers who risked their lives during the pandemic have been discarded

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TSHWANE - A group of 30 healthcare officials have a made trip to the national Department of Health in Pretoria, in hopes of getting President Cyril Ramaphosa to address their employment status concerns.

The group represents thousands of other healthcare officials who have been left unemployed after the Eastern Cape Department of Health didn't renew their work contracts due to a lack of funds.

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Eastern Cape Healthcare Officials, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Contracts ended, Covid19
The Department of Health in the Eastern Cape will not renew the contracts of healthcare officials who were hired to assist during the pandemic. Image: Misha Jordaan
Source: Getty Images

These healthcare workers were contracted by the department to assist in the fight against the Covid19 pandemic, according to City Press. Viwe Rula is one of the 30 people that have been protesting outside the Union Building for four days.

She says they have decided to take their grievances to the national department with the hope that officials will listen and help them get their jobs back.

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According to SABC News, the non-renewal of contracts is not only affecting healthcare workers but support staff have also found themselves with jobs. This also means that the caring of patients will also be impacted.

"It has affected a lot of people. There are patients that are going on renal dialysis. There are people who are on chronic treatment. There are people who are on cancer treatment that we take on scheduled appointments, we provide those services," said one healthcare official anonymously.

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Mkhululi Ndamase, EC provincial spokesperson says healthcare workers were notified well in advance that their contracts would not be renewed because of lack of funds.

He went on to say that the department did not terminate anyone's contract, the contracts simply reached their expiry date. He added that it has not been a secret that the Health Department in the Eastern Cape has been struggling financially for a while now.

Ndamase stated that the department would have loved to offer these healthcare workers permanent employment seeing how they provided invaluable support during the pandemic, however, the department does not have the means.

He explains that the Eastern Cape department of health had to begin the financial year with a shortfall of R4.4 billion.

South Africans feel sorry for healthcare workers

On social media, a few South Africans have criticised the EC Department of Health for its failure to employ local healthcare when they have wasted lots of money on useless initiatives such as purchasing scooters.

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Here are a few comments:

@xola_luy said:

"I knew it, it seemed too good to be true, yet the same Dept went on and bought useless scooters and had doctors from Cuba but can't keep local health workers."

@inopinus said:

"Frontline workers must fight to get their money."

@ConnectionMarsh said:

"Yeah good for them because they were used for the mass vaccination massacre now they're being thrown like an old chappie!"

@V_ctoriaBoyd222 said:

"Because they spent it all on Cuban doctors."

@Annette00711812 said:

"What a backward country this has become under ANC government!!"

Prince Ramaselele said:

"Imagine risking your life when everyone was scared including these looters but they take away your bread of survival, these looters continue to loot whilst u'll be unemployed but there are millions that are being stolen everyday but were told there's no money. That's sad."

20 000 Durban healthcare workers still unvaccinated

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In other news, Briefly News previously reported that the festive season is at its peak and as a result, eThekwini is seeing only a few people who are willing to get vaccinated.

The eThekwini Municipality has now taken the decision to close down all vaccination sites as well as pop-up sites that were stationed near beach entrances for the duration of the festive because only five beachgoers have taken advantage of the sites since 16 December.

Msawakhe Mayisela, the Durban city's spokesperson says vaccination sites will be closed on Christmas, Boxing Day and the public holiday that falls on 27 December. The sites will also be closed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to EWN.

Source: Briefly News

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