KZN government to extend contracts of over 10,000 health workers
'They have improved turnaround times,' says premier Sihle Zikalala
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government will extend the contracts of more than 10,000 health-care workers who were employed last year to strengthen the health-care system during the pandemic.
The provincial executive council approved the decision during its weekly meeting earlier this week.
KZN premier Sihle Zikalala said the contracts will be extended by six months as SA faces the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19 infections. He said contract workers helped reduce the mortality rate among Covid-19 patients and burnout among staff.
“The appointment of the contract staff has assisted in alleviating the pressure and burnout of staff, who have borne the brunt of Covid-19. Their presence has improved turnaround times in the attendance and treatment of patients, as well as led to the reduction in patient waiting times, among other critical performance areas,” said Zikalala.
During his state of the province address last week, Zikalala said the vaccination rollout in KZN was progressing well at its two sites in Prince Mshiyeni and Albert Luthuli hospitals in Durban.
He said the province had commissioned three field hospitals in eThekwini, iLembe and King Cetshwayo districts to meet the urgent need for Covid-19 beds.
“Public works also undertook extensive additions at existing hospitals such as R22m at Clairwood, R84m at Wentworth Hospital, R270m at King Dinuzulu, R44m at Mosvold, R68m at GJ Crookes, R55m at St Francis, R49m at Siloah and R85m at Catherine Booth Hospital,” said Zikalala.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we were neither swamped nor were we unable to cope. That is a formidable track record that indicates the robust nature of our health system and our commitment to investing in it.”