Gauteng Health heads for R549 million overspend
24 November 2019
The Gauteng Health Department is headed for an overspend of R549 million this year, mostly because of medico-legal payouts and legal payments for forensic investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
This is revealed in the Department’s Second Quarterly Report which was recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature and covers the six month period from April to September this year.
Whereas R876 million was budgeted for administration, the projected spend at the end of the financial year at 31 March 2020 is R1.39 billion.
Other departments that will overspend include District Health Services by R40 million and Central Hospital Services by R77 million.
Provincial Hospital Services, however, will underspend by R77 million, mostly because of delays in the filling of posts. Health Sciences and Training will underspend by R37 million, which is explained because nurse student staff are being paid by the hospitals where they work rather than by the colleges.
I am disappointed that the Department is still not spending according to budget, and will need a bailout in the Provincial Adjustments Budget before the end of this year.
Better ways are needed to deal with the Department’s high number of legal claims - from April to September this year the Department paid out R424 million for 54 medico-legal cases, and R25 million for 58 civil cases.
It is still early days for Health MEC Bandile Masuku, but the warning signs are there that the Department has still not improved its financial management.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 24 November 2019