National 16.8.2016 07:09 am

Gauteng underspending health crisis

FILE PICTURE: Qedani Mahlangu, Gauteng MEC of Health. (Photo by Gallo Images / Lee Warren)

FILE PICTURE: Qedani Mahlangu, Gauteng MEC of Health. (Photo by Gallo Images / Lee Warren)

This was due to payment of ‘key non-negotiable items within goods and services items that were prioritised’.

Gauteng public hospitals failed to spend R59 million out of R480 million that was budgeted for equipment last year. This has been revealed in the provincial legislature.

Responding to a written question by DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom, Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said underspending was incurred within the district, psychiatric, specialised, tuberculosis, dental training, provincial tertiary and central hospital budgets. This was due to payment of “key non-negotiable items within goods and services items that were prioritised”.

Bloom on Monday said the biggest underspending was at the Helen Joseph, Kalafong and Tembisa hospitals, which failed to spend the R34 million allocated to them for equipment. “The underspending and the diversion of funds for other goods and services shows poor management and budgeting,” he said, adding: “Patients suffer when there is a shortage of vital equipment.”

Meanwhile, Mahlangu said the department had set up a medical equipment committee to review the needs per institution.

“I hope that this ensures an adequate budget for hospital equipment and that it is fully spent,” Bloom said.

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