2‚200 critical medical jobs will be created

The Treasury has dug into the National Health Insurance (NHI) indirect grant to fulfill President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise to fill critical health vacancies and procure extra beds and linen.

Treasury documents show that spending on the NHI indirect grant has been extremely slow: only 10.4% of the R2.3-billion allocation for the current fiscal year had been spent by the end of September.

As a result‚ the Treasury has redirected R546-million of the grant‚ of which R350m is set aside for hiring specialists and other healthcare professionals‚ during the current fiscal year. The rest goes to beds and linen.

Over the medium term‚ 2‚200 critical medical posts will be created in provinces‚ and the number of medical internship posts will expand‚ according to the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS).

Meanwhile‚ revenue generated from the government’s new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages‚ which came into effect on April 1‚ has exceeded expectations‚ said the Treasury’s chief director for economics and tax analysis‚ Christopher Axelson.

“It’s doing very well. We are happy to note some sugary beverage producers have reformulated to bring their sugar down‚ which is really in line with the policy intention.”

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