CAPE TOWN As a three-year agreement granting special allowances to health- care professionals with scarce skills and those placed in rural areas draws to a close, the health department has embarked on an overhaul of the remuneration packages of the entire sector.
Government's plan to address the critical shortage of nurses and doctors is months from developing practical guidelines.
Thousands of posts in the public health sector are vacant and the crisis is deepening as nurses, doctors and pharmacists leave in search of better working environments. However, a human resources plan to address the crisis has still not been released despite promises.
The treasury's deputy director-general, Ismail Momoniat, warned yesterday of a looming crisis in the supply of health-care professionals, and pointed an accusing finger at the health department for its failure to produce a human resources strategy to tackle the problem.
The team to draw up the long-awaited health charter was revealed by minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang yesterday.The team of 20 includes equal representation from the private and public sectors. First draft is expected early next year.