Huge Health overspending

2013-11-13 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’s Health Department is projecting to overspend its budget by R831 million as it pays for infrastructure projects, anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, medicines and salaries.

Chief finance officer Mashaka Rhavura said of the R831 million in the projected over-expenditure, R280 million was compensation for professional nurses and nutrition advisers, among others.

Rhavura said R113 million would be spent on transfer costs and subsidies for Cuban doctors, litigation and leave gratuity costs.

The R511 million in capital assets was for the completion of Dannhauser, Jozini and Pomeroy community health centres, as well as additions to the Lower Mfolozi War Memorial hospital, upgrade of G.J. Crookes Hospital and KZN central laundry in Durban.

R73 in over-expenditure would be returned to the province.

“The R831 million budget pressure has been reported to the Provincial Treasury on a monthly basis, as well as to national Department of Health timeously,” Rhavuraa said.

He said the department has received R493 million in additional allocations. Now the department’s budget shortfall is set to be R338 million.

Rhavura blamed the pressures on agreements reached by the Department of Public Service and Administration with employees.

“When there are resolutions the department finds itself in a situation where the implementation has to take,” he said, adding that emergency personnel were now due to be paid danger allowances that were not budgeted for.

He said as a way to reduce the over-expenditure the department would have to find funding within its current budget.

He also said infrastructure was likely to be the casualty.

He also said the budget pressure on ARV drugs arose from the national department failing to honour its commitment from last year to donate medicine when the province was running short of stock.

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