Gauteng Health budget R1.6-b overspent

Newly re-appointed Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa. She has to fix the legacy of years of mismanagement of the provincial department that she had led once before.
Newly re-appointed Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa. She has to fix the legacy of years of mismanagement of the provincial department that she had led once before.

Gauteng Department of Health budget overspend will reach R1.6-b by March 2017, partly due to negligence, and the occupational dispensation.

This was revealed at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee in February 2017.

The biggest overspend will be R1-b by the four academic hospitals; Chris Hani Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg, Steve Biko, and George Mukhari.

Gauteng provincial hospitals will overspend by R199-m, and district health services by R50-m.

Court-ordered payments for medical negligence are a major reason for the overspend.

Other reasons include the improvement of conditions of service funding gap on the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD), and the payment of accruals on medicine, medical supplies and agency and support services.

The DA alleged there were ghost workers and political interference in appointments at the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) at Johan Heyns Clinic in Vanderbijlpark.

The current EPWP contracts at the clinic will come to an end at the close of this financial year, yet ANC members have been earmarked to take up all vacant EPWP positions at Johan Heyns Clinic.

Some workers who resigned from the project are still receiving their salaries and are paying the project coordinator a cut of their money, alleged the DA.

The ANC regional office in Sedibeng had allegedly set up lists of workers for the new six-month contracts in the EPWP.

Health training overspend

The Health Science and Training Programme is projected to overspend by R137-m, mainly because of the cost of training students to become doctors in Cuba.

The department’s funding crisis is leading to delayed payments of suppliers, pushing many small companies into financial ruin.

The funding deficit is also likely to rise because of the extra costs in relocating psychiatric patients from unsuitable NGOs where they were placed after the closure of Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

Newly re-appointed Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa (1999 -2006; then Deputy Minister of Health; and again Gauteng Health MEC from 2017) has to fix Gauteng health services after the resignation of Qedani Mahlangu as Gauteng Health MEC (2006 -2016).

Two employees at a Pretoria hospital told Sheqafrica.com on condition of anonymity that the culture, working conditions, management style, and administration quality at the hospital, were all pervasively negative, and that there was widespread looting and other irregularities. “Managers are doing these things, so we cannot fix things from below. If you speak up you will be fired.”

The provincial government would have to bail out the health department, diverting money from other departments as has happened previously, said DA Gauteng MPL and health specialist Jack Bloom.

Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom (DA) said he was "not impressed" by the return of Dr Gwen Ramokgopa.
Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom (DA) said he was “not impressed” by the return of Dr Gwen Ramokgopa to Gauteng Health, after her stint as Deputy Minister of Health.
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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.