Here's how Gauteng health plans to spend R57.7bn budget for 2020/21

Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku on Friday announced that his department had been allocated R57.7bn for the 2020/21 financial year.
Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku on Friday announced that his department had been allocated R57.7bn for the 2020/21 financial year. 
Image: Alaister Russel/Sunday Times

Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku on Friday announced that his department had been allocated R57.7bn for the 2020/21 financial year.

He was speaking in the provincial legislature where he presented the health budget vote for approval.

Masuku said at the top of his agenda was improving patient experience care, infrastructure, primary health care, emergency services and reducing medical litigation.

“Without investment in infrastructure, we will not deliver on our promise to provide quality health care,” he said.

In the previous financial year, Masuku said he would focus on improving 10 of the worst hospitals in the province. He announced the project was almost completed but the department would invest in excess of R1.1bn for maintenance and refurbishment of these hospitals this year.

“In 2020/21, the infrastructure programme will include implementation of measures to improve electronic security surveillance in all health facilities,” he said.

Seven new facilities were expected to be opened at the end of the financial year. These were the Mandisa Shiceka Day Clinic in Hammanskraal, Boikhutsong Clinic in Soshanguve, Phillip Moyo CHC in Daveyton, Khutsong South Clinic, Finetown Clinic in Ennerdale, Greens Park Clinic on the West Rand and Kekana Stad.

Meanwhile, a hospital in Mamelodi dedicated to reducing neonatal mortality was also expected to be opened in three weeks' time.

The safety of emergency services personnel had been compromised in the past year, Masuku said, and the department had taken a decision to install tracking devices in all ambulance vehicles.

He said the province would continue to prioritise the provision of emergency services which proved to be in great demand.

“On average we service more than 100,000 calls in the province, with 65% of such calls routed to emergency calls. This year we are investing more funds to procure additional EMS vehicles to the tune of R294m,” he said. 

CLINICAL SERVICES

Masuku said the department had made significant strides in the previous year and R450m had been allocated for mental health posts and acute beds.

“For this year, an additional R103m has been made available for 500 additional contracted beds at both Clinix Health Group and Life Healthcare using the existing contractual obligations,” he said.  

HIV/Aids, STI and TB (HAST)

The department said it remained committed to combating HIV while maintaining a rate of close to zero percent in mother-to-child transmissions.

“For the current financial year, we will spend R5.2bn, up from R4.7bn last year,” said Masuku.

An amount of R443m was expected to be spent on XDR/MDR tuberculosis, testing 3.5 million people for HIV, retaining in treatment 1.4 million adults and 33,000 children under 15 years; and intensifying ARV rollout to initiate 150,407 people on ART treatment.

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

“Improving primary health care is the foundation upon which the establishment of universal health coverage in SA will be built. It is for this reason that we continue to improve on its allocation from R17.2m last year to R19m this year.” said Masuku.

He said the department had increased the number of community health centres (CHCs) that are providing 24-hour services from 30 to 32.

“Furthermore, we continue to provide primary care through the 791 functional fully fledged, ward-based outreach teams and we have introduced the comprehensive chronic medicine programme, which benefits 721,350 patients,” said Masuku.

PROMOTING PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION 

“In the current year, and under Covid-19, health promotion and education have become even more important than ever. We will continue to engage our communities on a range of public campaigns aimed at creating awareness and mobilising the active energies of our people to improve health outcomes,” he said.

MEDICAL LITIGATION

Masuku said the province had commenced with processes of mediation rather than litigation, which had demonstrated positive results.

“The introduction of the mediation process has thus far saved the department over R38m between October 2019 and March 2020. We anticipate the contingent liability of medico-legal cases to be reduced from R22bn to R19.8bn in the current financial year,” he said.

FILLING OF CRITICAL POSTS.

In the past financial year, Masuku indicated that his department would fill nearly 2,000 vacant critical posts including those of CEOs.

“We are pleased to announce that we have filled more than 4,442 posts which includes critical and replacement posts. Among those appointed are young leaders in key managerial positions.

“By July 1 2020, the department would have finalised the translation of 8,500 community health-care workers (CHWs) as level 2 employees. We will complete the remaining number by July 31,” added Masuku.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.