WCGHW has to freeze 2362 posts if public sector wage agreement goes unfunded | Western Cape Government


WCGHW has to freeze 2362 posts if public sector wage agreement goes unfunded

11 May 2023

Provincial Department of Health and Wellness (WCGHW) will have to freeze 2 362 posts if public sector wage agreement goes unfunded


I will be working closely with my national colleagues in order for us to enact the needed change in the healthcare system. Only together can this situation be addressed, as it affects every single one of us.

Should National Treasury not allocate additional funding to compensate for the increased public wage sector agreement, the department would have to freeze 2 362 posts in order to afford the higher salaries.

As a result, it would mean that we would not be able to hire additional employees in the department.

This comes after the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) and National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) agreed to increase public wages following the public healthcare worker strikes earlier this year.

In total, this impact equates to R1.186 billion.

However, when also accounting for the impact the reduction of conditional grants has on the department’s budget, the financial pressure increases to approximately R1.295 billion or 2 581 posts.

After Minister Joe Phaahla’s budget speech on Tuesday, our concerns regarding provincial budget allocations remains.

While we understand the constrained fiscal environment the country is in and appreciate the national government admitting that it has continuously underfunded the healthcare sector, financing needs urgent attention in order for the health sector to truly achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

In response to this deeply concerning context the Western Cape Government allocated an additional R4,611 billion over next 3 financial years to mitigate some of the financial pressures within Health and Wellness. However, if the national government does not fund the wage agreement this would exacerbate the financial pressures within the health sector significantly.

Provincial Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo adds: “Health is the only public service which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. To do this requires many human, financial and physical resources. The matter of financing is something that I hope receives the attention it deserves in the upcoming budget cycles, as the fiscal cliff we have warned about is here”.

“Nonetheless, we do appreciate other assistance being provided on this year’s financial year. For example, over R7.8 billion is being provided over the medium term to support provinces with appointing interns and community service doctors. Additionally, a further R7.2 billion will be used within the same period to assist with approved plans for infrastructure projects.”