Gauteng health department sets aside R1.4bn to combat mental illness

(File)
(File)

In recognising that mental illness is increasingly becoming a global epidemic, the Gauteng Department of Health has allocated R1.4bn to psychiatric hospitals in the province.

During his budget vote speech in the Gauteng provincial legislature, Health MEC Bandile Masuku said he was committed to providing quality mental health care.

Of the R1.4bn, R347m has been reprioritised within district health services to respond to mental health-care needs that included R202m, which would be provided to NGO partnerships, Masuku added.

"We have decided that the best approach to responding to the mental health epidemic is the SANAC approach, which involves civil society, business, labour and other sectors."

Presenting his budget vote, Masuku said the total allocation for the 2019/2020 financial year would be R50.8bn.

Infrastructure

More than R1bn would be spent on the maintenance and refurbishment of health infrastructure in Gauteng, he added.

"Health infrastructure forms part of society's social assets, and is therefore important for eradicating asset poverty among our people.

"Some of these resources will be directed to the 10 hospitals requiring urgent improvements."

Masuku said additional resources would have to be sourced for the improvement of health care at Bheki Mlangeni, Jubilee, Mamelodi, Tembisa, Tambo Memorial, Edenvale, Dr George Mukhari, Kopanong,  Sebokeng Complex and Thelle Mogoerane hospitals.

"The selection of these hospitals is not solely based on worst performance, but also on the potential of what an integrated, innovative and responsive health system in Gauteng can do."

Emergency medical services

Masuku also announced R49m had been allocated for fleet maintenance as well as tracking and improving security features.

"Emergency medical care is an important health-care provision. It provides the public with swift medical care and creates ease of access to our health facilities free of charge to the indigent.

"Furthermore, the provincialisation of the emergency medical services for Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni is going ahead as planned. Again, this is to ensure that we have more efficiencies and cost saving in the system."

Posts

Masuku said 1 974 posts would be filled in the current financial year with an allocation of R778m.

"This amount also includes grants for the extended public works programme.

"In order to improve the governance and achieve better clinical outcomes, we need the right skills in the right quantities. Although in Gauteng, the task of staffing our facilities is a fast-moving target, we are determined to meet the expectations."

Masuku said a large portion of the budget had been allocated to three of eight programmes, namely district health services (R17.2bn or 33%), provincial hospital services (R9.5bn or 18%) and central hospital services (R18.2bn or 36%).

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