Health Department requests rollover of R15 mln

2013-07-31 00:00

THE KZN Health Department has requested a rollover of R15 million from National Treasury in respect of the National Health Insurance (NHI) conditional grant allocated in the last financial year.

The grant was underspent after invoices were received too late for payment and due to the late delivery of medical equipment.

“National Treasury has approved a rollover of R14,949 million in this regard based on the department’s unaudited annual financial statements,” departmental chief finance officer Mashaka Ravhura told the finance portfolio committee yesterday.

The rollover will supplement the reduced R9,7 million allocated for the province in this financial year.

The province’s budget for NHI was slashed from the R33 million allocated in 2012/13.

Ravhura said the national department had reduced the allocation due to certain activities being managed nationally.

He said the R9,7 million would have to be used to improve tender systems and processes for the provision of health services in districts, and to enhance capacity in the districts for planning and monitoring, as well as strengthening the referral system.

He told the committee that despite the 36,3% cut in the infrastructure budget, the department would go ahead with some planned projects.

These included the planning for the Dr John Dube and Dr Pixley ka Seme hospitals in Durban.

“Due to budget cuts we were tempted to stop them but decided we will go ahead while we try to get money from national,” he said, adding that some projects would be accelerated when there were adequate funds.

Ravhura also said the department would try its best to contain costs if it did not get additional funding.

MPL Sipho Nkosi welcomed the announcement that the planning of two hospitals would go ahead.

He said the failure to build the two hospitals caused a crisis at R.K. Khan Hospital, which was unable to cope because of doctors and specialists leaving.

The committee also heard that R35 million was approved for McCord Hospital for a six-month period until September.

The Treasury has been asked to ­appoint transactional advisers to conduct due diligence of the hospital before a takeover by the provincial government.

“A final report was presented to the Provincial Treasury by the transactional advisers and the department is awaiting a decision of cabinet in respect of the takeover.

“Should the takeover be approved, the department would no longer provide grant funding, but rather a full budget to the McCord Hospital for approved services to be rendered,” a report tabled to the committee said.

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