For many years the subject of retaining the Professional Nurses in the public sector has been one of the major challenges and factors that have contributed to the decreased quality of public health services in South Africa. The much needed and valuable skills of the nursing profession have caused South Africa to share its well trained nurses with the rest of the world and other sectors, thus resulting in a brain drain. Although some financial incentive policies such as the Rural Allowance and Scarce Skill Allowance policies had been introduced the South African government still identified a need to introduce a new remuneration policy. In an attempt to curb the retention issue the South African Department of Health with the relevant trade unions negotiated a remuneration and retention policy that would target skills that were considered scarce. This resulted in the establishment of the Occupational Specific Dispensation policy.
The implementation of this policy started in 2007 with the nursing profession being the first group to be introduced to this policy. The manner in which a policy is implemented is vital since it is important to determine whether the policy is a success or a failure and whether amendments need to be made or not. However, the implementation of policies tends to be the most overwhelmingly challenging, yet significant task. Studies on the evaluation of the implementation of remuneration policies that are related to public health professionals in South Africa are not sufficient. Therefore the basis of this study is to evaluate the manner in which the Occupational Specific Dispensation policy has been implemented and the outcomes of the implementation at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
This specific case study focused on were the Professional Nurses at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. For a systematic collection of data and analytical purposes the 5C Protocol Framework was used. An empirical contribution to the body of knowledge on public policy implementation is not only ethical but essential. It is also imperative to identify trends and understand the implementation issues in the public health sector within a South African context. As the architects of public policy the South African government needs to be cognisant of the current state of affairs with regards to public policy implementation.
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2015.