Stipends for CHWs to be increased

2015-08-26 06:00
COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE WORKERS (CHWs) of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in their numbers at the meeting.

COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE WORKERS (CHWs) of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in their numbers at the meeting. Photo: Supplied

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STIPENDS for community healthcare workers (CHWs) are set to be increased to R2 000 by the end of August; and to R2 500 in the new financial year, which is at the end of April.

This was announced by the Northern Cape Department of Health when it was also stated that all mentors would receive a R2 900 stipend by the end of August and subsequently R3 000 in the next financial year.

This announcement came after Mac Jack, the MEC for Health, concluded his visits to districts wherein a total of 2 545 CHWs were engaged with the express purpose of developing a new turnaround strategy that would enable the department to swiftly deal with their challenges.

There will be no more late payments to the CDWs, who are regarded as the foot soldiers who work in communities daily and know every patient’s needs, desires, challenges and circumstances.

The department further committed itself to paying the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions of all the CDWs (councillors, mentors and home-based care givers) on their behalf instead of deducting it from their stipends.

According to the Department of Health, the request for a slight increase in their stipend has always dominated during all the district meetings with the CDWs.

Concerns in terms of clarity on when exactly the increase would be applied were also raised after the meeting with the MEC.

In adequately dealing with this matter, the MEC made the announcements as a remedial step to uplift the morale of CHWs, as they greatly assisted the department in the attainment of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) 2030 objectives.

In terms of other concerns raised, including the lack of uniforms, surgical sundries like gloves, masks and dressing equipment, as well as a request to be certified for training, the Department of Health promised to commit to them in writing before the end of this month.

“We need to deliberate on these commitments and tighten things before we commit. That will hold the MEC accountable in his commitment,” said Lebogang Majaha, ministerial spokesperson of the Department of Health

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