Budget boost for Free State health department

2016-03-08 16:55

Bloemfontein - The Free State health department's budget allocation for 2016/17 has increased to R169.8 million, Finance MEC Elzabe Rockman said on Tuesday.

Tabling her budget in the provincial legislature, Rockman said additional funding had been allocated to initiatives that would strengthen health service delivery in rural areas. 

The money would be spent on targeted maintenance of critical clinic equipment. Additional funding would go towards the medical depot, she said. 

In total, the department was allocated R29.2 billion over the medium-term expenditure framework. 

A total of R33.5 million had been shifted from the provincial budget to the national health department to implement a human papillomavirus vaccine programme. 

"It is anticipated that this function will be transferred to the province in the 2018/19 financial year and provision is made in the outer year for the financial implications."

Last year, a report released by the Treatment Action Campaign revealed the province’s healthcare system had failed those who relied on it. 

According to the report, residents complained of ambulances that failed to arrive, healthcare facilities in disrepair, and equipment that was broken or unavailable.

Provincial emergency services and patient transport was characterised by long waiting times, unreliability and indignity, according to the report.

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