Department of Health already advertising jobs for NHI

NHI jobs are now available

NHI jobs are now available

Published Sep 23, 2022


In August, the Department of Health advertised an array of vacancies to be filled within the National Health Insurance ranging from Deputy Director - HIV/Aids and TB to Chief Director: Legal Services, despite the fact that the The National Health Insurance Bill, 2019 still has to go through parliamentary processes and is nowhere near finalised.

The Bill seeks to provide universal access to health care services in South Africa.

On 5 September 2022, labour union, Solidarity, wrote to Dr. Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general of the NHI threatening legal action if the Department did not withdraw its advertisements for the 44 positions within the NHI by 19 September. This has not happened.

According to a public statement, Crisp's own statement about the NHI is that no official announcements can be made regarding the rollout or implementation as the bill has yet to go before parliament. “We therefore find it worrying that Crisp is speaking out of two mouths and apparently continues the implementation process unabated,” Solidarity states.

"It is unacceptable that senior government officials start talking out of two mouths about legislation and the implementation of laws that have damning consequences for all of us, because it shows a disregard for the legal process," says Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute. "The same person who promises to establish health insurance that will supposedly make the world a better place because it will be watertight against corruption and illegality, is steamrolling the NHI despite ongoing parliamentary processes, and it cannot be tolerated."

Solidarity also believes that the legality of the appointments as well as the financial impact of the posts on the fiscus should be questioned. The jobs that are advertised involve much more than just technical skills, as these are senior management positions whose compensation is in the millions per year at issue here, they state.

"Without considering the influence that further expenses will have on an already struggling state treasury, Crisp deployed his NHI. He does it under the guise of efficiency and the strengthening of capacity, but how does one want to strengthen the capacity of something that does not yet exist?" Mulder adds

Anton van der Bijl, head of legal matters at Solidarity says the ‘warning’ has now lapsed and that the union is drawing up legal papers to put a stop to the process.

He says that these job advertisements are a clear indication that the government is determined to carry out its plans without respecting established democratic processes, and has confirmed that Crisp is yet to respond to their urgent letter.

Business Report reached out to Foster Mohale, Director: Media Relations at National Department of Health and enquired whether the department intends with what Solidarity calls “constitutionally indefensible and irrational actions”, and whether the department will oppose any court action taken by the labour movement.

Mohale stated that the Department of Health may expand or establish more units for as long the Minister of Public service and Administration approves such new structure within the Department, posts for NHI are advertised because the MPSA has approved the NHI structure as part of the Department, not because there is a Bill being debated in parliament. NHI jobs are not advertised based on the NHI Bill but based on the new structure of the Department as approved by MPSA. Everyone has the right to approach court of law for appropriate relief and everyone has the right to defend himself/herself. he says. “Solidarity has the right to approach the court and the department has the right to defend itself when it materialises.