29 January 2013

South Africa: Eastern Cape Health Ready to Pay Doctors Salaries, to Track Down Runaway Bursary Holders

press release

The Eastern Cape Health has announced enough budget to pay salaries of newly appointed health professionals and is finalising the intake of doctors and other health professionals. These employees assumed duties at the beginning of January. Every endeavour to ensure all employees who commenced work in January are captured on to payroll. A total of 422 health professionals will get their salaries on 31 January.

However, 112 health professionals have failed to submit supporting documents such as Health Professions Council of South Africa registration receipts and other relevant documentation. Unfortunately this is beyond the control of the department and cause delay in the payment of their own salaries.

Letters have been sent out urging the affected individuals to submit the documents. A supplementary salary payment run will be arranged immediately after the 31st to cater for those affected by late submission of documents.

Eleven (11) bursary holders, who have service obligations to the Eastern Cape, have declined or refused placement in the province, especially in rural facilities. The department will now track down the defaulting professionals during the 1st week of February.

Despite the province having invested heavily in the production of scarce health professionals, it has been disappointed by the refusal of those graduates to serve our people. In line with the obligations outlined in the bursary contract, each defaulting health professional will be forced to repay the value of the bursary in full plus 16% interest.

We are appealing to the community to talk some sense into these graduates as they are robbing the poor people and denying them quality health services. A high level task team has been set up to enforce these contractual obligations, which may include criminal and civil action against the defaulters.

Amongst other measures, the department is exploring the blacklisting of these defaulters in the public service in general as well as reporting them to various professional bodies. A group of about 500 health professionals will start their duties at the beginning of February 2013.

Issued by: Eastern Cape Health

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