Foreign Workforce Management Programme: Staff unqualified for regulating foreign-qualified workers
Mike Waters, Shadow Minister of Health
25 October 2010
A reply to a DA parliamentary question reveals that there is only one member of the Health Department’s Foreign Workforce Management Programme (FWMP) who has a degree in a health-related field, and one member does not even have matric.
A copy of the reply follows below.
The DA will be asking the health minister to review the composition of the FWMP and ensure that it is staffed with people with the specialised knowledge of the health profession that this job requires. At the moment the FWMP seems only to impede improvements to health care. While South Africa cannot train even a fraction of the health workers it needs, the FWMP has developed a reputation for enormous inefficiency and for bias against foreign-qualified workers.
Other than one person with a Masters in Public Health, every other member of the committee is completely unqualified for this job. One member has only a grade 11. Another member has a Call Centre management certificate, and another has a Certificate of Competence in Computer Literacy. This seems to be another example of the ANC’s cadre deployment policy, at the expense of ordinary South Africans in need of decent health care.
The FWMP is notorious for long delays, sometimes of three years or more, in deciding on whether to accept or reject applications from foreign-qualified workers to work in South Africa. It is also notorious for rejecting applications on highly questionable grounds – recently the application of a British nurse with a Masters in nursing was rejected because her degree was too “specialised”.
The FWMP is responsible for applying the policy decided on by the National Health Council on foreign health workers. Within these parameters, it has a great deal of discretion about who to accept. Unfortunately for South Africa, its bias seems to be towards finding reasons to reject applications, in an environment where South Africans stand in queues for hours or days because of shortages of doctors, nurses and specialists at public hospitals.
The details of the members of the FWMP are as follows:
Ms. PFF Zulu- Master of Public Health
Ms. HAC Human- Matric
Ms. ZC Lutchmia- Grade 11
Ms. D Sibiya- Matric
Ms. KJ Mlambo- B.Admin
Ms. S Vosloo- Matric
Mr. M Mpeqeka- Matric and Call Centre Certificate
Ms. B Machebele- Matric Certificate in Criminal Justice System and Certificate of Competence in Computer Literacy
Mr. A Mohamed Ali- Diploma in Human Resources Management and Training