The Gauteng Province is viewed as a province of opportunities by South Africans as well the neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The impact of these perceptions has placed a heavy demand on services including health provided within the confines of the province, the results being an increase in the workload of the employees. The indirect results of the increase in the workload have been unacceptably high levels of absenteeism, seemingly sub-standard levels of health care and high cost of delivering the health care services. Absenteeism poses a threat and can lead to the collapse of health care services if absenteeism is poorly managed. The research examines the management and control of absenteeism in four out of thirty four hospitals that service the province. The hospitals that have been targeted for the research are ODI District Hospital, Germiston Hospital, TARA Moross Centre Hospital and George Mukhari Hospital.
This chapter explains the background and motivation for the research. The research highlights the problem statement, which focuses on the effective management of absenteeism. The objectives of the study, the research methodology and structure of the research are explained. The relevant literature review was consulted for the research. The key concepts that are used in the research are conceptually defined. The research design is a descriptive, stratified random survey. The data that were used were collected in three phases, the unit of analysis were the employees of the Gauteng Department of Health in the four target hospitals and the unit of observations were observations of the employees of the four hospitals. The construct of validity was achieved through using a variety of data collection methods. Ethical considerations were taken into account during the research process. Limitations of the research were imposed by the uniqueness of each of the target hospitals. The structure of the research and the reference technique is explained in this chapter. The research on absenteeism in the Gauteng Department of Health is confined to the period of 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008 and focused on the working-man days lost, how absenteeism is managed and employee well-being and rehabilitation.
The Gauteng Department of Health received a qualified report in 2008 on the control of sick leave. A performance audit was conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) (2002:
xvi) into the information required to effectively manage sick leave in the public service.
The research on absenteeism in Gauteng Department of Health seeks to examine the extent of workplace absenteeism in the ODI District Hospital which is in a transitional stage from North West to the Gauteng Province. The hospital falls under Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and is in Region C. The Germiston Hospital falls under Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in Region B, TARA Moross Centre Hospital is in Region A under the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and George Mukhari Academic Hospital is Region C under the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. The research seeks to examine the degree of compliance by the four hospitals with the recommendations of the performance audit of management of sick leave in the light of the qualified report received by the Gauteng Department of Health (Human Resources) in 2008/9.
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