KWAZULU-NATAL health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has vowed to clamp down on lazy and corrupt managers in his department.

Dhlomo was speaking in the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg yesterday at the unveiling of his R17billion budget for 2009-10.

He said though there were good managers who should be commended and encouraged to continue to be better at what they do to save lives, there were also inefficient managers who needed to be exposed.

He said he was compelled to clamp down on poor performers.

"I would be failing in my responsibility if I did not scrutinise the conduct of all health workers with the aim of inculcating a culture that embraces and subscribes to quality care," he said.

Dhlomo said there was a huge expectation for him to tighten his belt and use the R17billion budget allocated to his department wisely.

He said he was expected to end the overspending controversy that has plagued the department in the last two years.

He committed himself to a 10-point plan for better service delivery at public hospitals and clinics in the region.

He said the department would target one hospital in every district for a full-scale turnaround strategy from the frontline to the administrative management.

These will include St Benedictine Hospital in the Zululand district, Hlabisa Hospital in Umkhanyakude district, Greys Hospital in uMgungundlovu district, Madadeni Hospital in Amajuba district, CMJ Crookes Hospital in the Umzinyathi district, and Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in the eThekwini district

He said the goal would be caring security at the gate, clean premises, caring professionals, timely treatment and the professional management of queues.

Dhlomo committed his department to giving priority to HIV, which was still has the highest incidence in KwaZulu-Natal. At present it stands at 5,8percent, with women between the ages of 25 and 29 being the most infected.

He said his department would ensure that 80percent of HIV-exposed infants received ARVs and that there was a decrease the infant mortality rate.