Finance workshop adds up for Health

2009-07-01 00:00

IN a bid to curb over-expenditure in the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department, the provincial finance committee in the legislature will hold a workshop with the department’s management to go through the department’s budget on deliverable programmes.

Committee chairwoman Belinda Scott said that the workshop will be between the committee members and the department’s management and its purpose will be to seek clarity on the programmes the department has budgeted for.

Speaking during the presentation of the department’s R17,448 billion budget proposal in the legislature yesterday, Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the department has identified five priority diseases that will be tackled — infant mortality, maternal deaths, MDI and XDR tuberculosis and HIV and Aids.

Dhlomo said the department will not compromise when tackling the budget on these diseases. Ensuring that hospitals do not run out of basic medical supplies and the availability of equipment are non-negotiable, said Dhlomo.

Hospital revitalisation and strengthening financial management are also top priorities for the department. Dhlomo said exploring the public/private partnerships is a strong contender to deal with the revamping of the hospitals.

“There’s a need for the strengthening of financial management in this department. The problem is not only unique to our Health Department. This may be due to incompetent people handling the department’s finances,” said Dhlomo.

Chief financial officer Sipho Buthelezi said that R10,3 billion will be allocated to the compensation of employees, R5,2 billion for goods and services, R494 million for transfers and subsidies and R1,3 billion for payments of capital assets. Buthelezi said that R653 million will be allocated to health sciences and training for nurses. Dhlomo told the committee that the shutting down of some nursing colleges was a mistake and detrimental to the health sector. He said the colleges must be opened next year.

Scott said the committee will spend a day with the Health Department to determine expenditure allocations. She said the exercise will be to see where the department will cut costs as per the 7,5% requirement by the provincial government.

Dhlomo welcomed the workshop, saying it will help steer the department in the right direction.

PAY: R10,3 bln

Goods and services: R5,2 bln

transfers & subsidies:

R494 mln

Capital assets:

R1,3 billion

health sciences & training

R653 mln

TOTAL:

R17,448 bln

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