National 25.8.2016 05:15 am

Health department again underspends – by R473m

FILE PICTURE: Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

FILE PICTURE: Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

The largest underspend in the Gauteng budget was R194 million for district health services.

The Gauteng health department underspent by R473 million in the 2015/16 financial year, which ended in March this year, DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said yesterday. This was revealed on Tuesday in a presentation by the department to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s health committee.

The largest underspend in the budget was R194 million for district health services, which was due to a delay in the release of invoices for the National Health Laboratory Services. A further R93 million for building and equipment was also not spent because of a delay in the approval of plans.

Emergency Management Services underspent R59 million on account of a delay in filling vacant posts and reduced usage of private ambulances after government acquired more ambulances. Other large underspends were R86 million for provincial hospital services and R36 million for health care support services.

“These underspends were partially balanced by a huge overspend of R152 million in the households category because of an increase in the Cuban doctors programme and leave gratuity payments due to an unforeseen increase in staff resignations.

“I am disappointed that such a large amount of money was not spent and was surrendered back to the National Treasury,” Bloom added.

– news@citizen.co.za

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