Today's Labour News

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healthcareBusinessLive reports that the National Treasury has made good on Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s promise that the government would find the money to hire more doctors, but the sector will remain under pressure as the health budget will shrink in real terms over the next three years.

Under growing pressure to reverse the deep cuts announced in the medium-term budget policy statement in November, the Treasury has allocated an extra R11.6bn to help cover last year’s higher-than-anticipated wage settlement. The Western Cape has been vocal about the impact of the centrally agreed wage deal that wasn’t fully funded by the Treasury and left provincial health departments unable to fill essential posts. Treasury’s chief director for health and social development, Mark Blecher, said the extra money would not be sufficient to hire all the recently qualified doctors who have been unable to secure jobs with the state, and provincial health departments would need to determine which posts should be prioritised. “There will be less downsizing, and more posts will be filled, but it is unlikely they all will be,” he indicated. Trade union Samatu estimates 800 recently qualified doctors who expected to work for the state have been unable to find jobs. Provincial health departments will remain under financial pressure as consolidated health expenditure grows by a nominal 3.4 % over the medium term, said Blecher. Treasury estimates inflation will average 4.7% over the next three years which means the budget will shrink in real terms.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive

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