Gauteng pays R300m more to health suppliers
The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development paid almost R300 million to health contractors and suppliers in December. This is in addition to the R600 million that had been paid to vendors earlier in that month, reports the Gauteng Provincial Government.
"We remain committed to tackling the department's challenges head-on," Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Monday, after confirming that R291 million had been paid to suppliers.
"We are determined to ensure that, together with the national government, we return the provincial Health and Social Development Department to good financial health. The funds that we have paid out come from our own belt-tightening exercise we announced in our last Quarterly Political Report," Mokonyane said.
Other measures the province has initiated to help overcome the department's debts - initially estimated at around R3 billion - include the following:
* Re-direction of funds from under-performing programmes to the Health and Social Development Department;
* Prioritising the payment of critical service providers such as the National Health Laboratory Services, South African National Blood Services; medical waste and food suppliers, among others;
* Tightening control of procurement processes;
* Stopping the usage of nursing and pharmacy agencies;
* Better monitoring of the usage of government garage cars;
* Better control of overtime policy;
* Deployment of head office staff to the coalface of service delivery; and
* Better management of personnel matters.
Of the all the service providers paid, most of the invoices were for the 2010/11 financial year - with the National Health Laboratory Services receiving R51 million. The SA National Blood Services were paid R13 million while, collectively, six Gauteng municipalities were paid R160 million.
All independent contractors received R131 million during the month.
"We are confident that our aim of nursing this department back to financial health will be achieved, especially as the impact of the national government's interventions begins to be felt," Premier Mokonyane said.
The national Health Department and the National Treasury have been called in to ensure that better systems are put in place so that the Health and Social Development Department can pay creditors on time - thus ensuring that the provision of health services in Gauteng is never compromised.
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