Over 8 500 Community Health Workers paid

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pretoria - The Gauteng Department of Health says it has released payment to more than 8 500 Community Health Workers (CHWs) from last week Thursday.  

Department spokesperson Simon Zwane said that currently a total of 8 592 CHWs have been paid for the months of October and November 2013.

“Yesterday, a total of 4 185 CHWs were paid for the months of December 2013 and January 2014. By the end of this week, an additional 3 907 CHWs will receive their stipends for the months of December 2013 and January 2014. This will result in a total of 8 092 CHWs fully paid until the end of January 2014,” said Zwane.

By the end of this week, Zwane said an additional 3 907 CHWs will receive their stipends for the months of December 2013 and January 2014.

“This will result in a total of 8 092 CHWs fully paid until the end of January 2014.”

However, Zwane said there are about 550 CHWs who remain unpaid from October 2013 as they have not yet submitted correct documentation required for the payment process.

“The process of resolving outstanding details of CHWs who have not yet submitted things like correct banking details, is continuing at District level with the affected CHW’s and payment will be processed once the information is received and captured on our database,” he said.

The whole payment process follows a decision taken last year by the Health MEC, Hope Papo (and discussed with NGO’s and CHWs) stating that from October 2013 until March 2014, CHWs will be paid by the department directly.

The department annually contract various NGOs to assist with the implementation of various health programmes dealing with HIV, AIDS, STIs and TB.

Following numerous challenges related to the effective management of CHWs, critical decisions were taken to improve the situation, these included a  verdict for the department to take over the task of paying community health workers from NGOs, register them individually as service providers and pay them directly using the Gauteng Provincial Government SAP payment system.

It was also decided that the NGO’s, working with Health Districts should continue to do supervision and monitoring of the day to day work of CHWs.

It was further decided that an audit of skills of CHWs will be done and based on the audit report, the department will develop a programme to upskill those who do not have adequate and/or relevant skills.

Zwane said this is purely aimed at building capacity to implement the national decision on Ward Based Outreach Teams, to be led and managed by professional nurses which are part of Primary Health Care Re-engineering.

“Through this process, the CHWs will also be upskilled in order to qualify for various career opportunities within the department. In addition, it was also decided to commission a thorough assessment and evaluation of the work of all contracted NGOs to check if the work they are doing is in line with departmental programmes and expected health outcomes,” Zwane explained. – SAnews.gov.za

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