UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has written to health minister Zweli Mkhize asking him to consider hiring 32 unemployed Eastern Cape pharmacists to assist with the rollout of the province’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
In a public letter to the minister on Wednesday, Holomisa said the pharmacists reached out to him seeking employment.
Holomisa asked Mkhize to urgently consider the group’s request that they be absorbed into the health-care system in the Eastern Cape to assist with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme and the general value chain of pharmaceutical services.
“This is a group of highly trained health professionals who cannot find employment in a time in SA when we are fighting the battle of our lives against Covid-19 and it is unfathomable that citizens with these critical skills find themselves without purpose and work,” said Holomisa.
“The group wants to add value through their experience, highlighting that the skills they had gained throughout their training are of value to the health-care system and also to stress the plight of the growing number of unemployed pharmacists, for what used to be a scarce skill.”
Holomisa said he believes the short-term and long-term placements will encourage young people, showing them that a career in pharmacy is worth pursuing.
“I, therefore, appeal, on their behalf, to your good offices for urgent assistance in any respect of the various good suggestions which they have already taken the initiative to propose,” said Holomisa.
SA is gearing up for the first phase of the vaccine rollout that will see health-care workers getting the jab first.
In the Western Cape, the province’s premier Alan Winde said 1,995 vaccinators will be trained to ensure the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine.
He said the number of vaccinators would grow as distribution phases progress from the first to the third phase.
In KwaZulu-Natal, premier Sihle Zikalala said 163,256 health-care workers from the province are eligible to receive the vaccine during the first phase.
Of these, 81,000 will be from the public sector and 49,000 from the private sector.
The provincial government has identified 91 vaccination sites. Zikalala said the vaccine would arrive in KwaZulu-Natal on February 14.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)