Today's Labour News

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healthcareCity Press reports that the long-term viability of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system is in doubt because its pilot project sites appear to have financial problems and have failed to pay the salaries of its medical professionals.  

Doctors and pharmacy assistants contracted to assist in the project have seen their debit orders bounce while they wait for salaries from the department of health’s appointed payroll administrator, the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD).  In emails dated 14 December, the FPD’s payroll manager told doctors and pharmacists that due to “unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we will not be able to settle payments due on the 15th of December to department of health employees.”  FPD committed to “resolving the matter with the department of health and the Treasury as soon as possible.”  One (unnamed) doctor said the financial problems were not limited to December.  “We had similar problems in September, October and November.  The salaries are not paid on time and when we inquire, we are informed the department did not pay the service provider.”  Apparently several doctors and pharmacy assistants have already quit their jobs.  The pilot project, which started in April 2012, has 326 pharmacy assistants and 203 general practitioners on the books.  It will end in March, when government is expected to announce when the full NHI system will be launched.

  • Read this report by Abram Mashego and Vuyo Mkize in full at News24

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