Gauteng health department allocated R56bn to provide 'quality health care'

17 June 2021 - 15:54
By nomahlubi sonjica AND Nomahlubi Sonjica
Gauteng's health department has been allocated R56bn for the 2021/22 financial year. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/HXDBZXY Gauteng's health department has been allocated R56bn for the 2021/22 financial year. Stock photo.

The Gauteng health department has been allocated a budget of R56.5bn in the 2021/22 financial year, and R169.6bn over the 2021 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) to fund the provision of “quality” health services in the province.

Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi made the announcement while delivering the department’s budget vote on Thursday.

Mokgethi also noted the “alarming” number of Covid-19 cases in the province.

She said the department had been working hard to try to ease the impact of Covid-19 across the province’s healthcare facilities.

“In the 2021/22 financial year, a total additional amount of R2bn has been made available for province’s comprehensive health response to Covid-19, which is allocated for, among others, the rollout of the vaccination programme at 330 sites and supporting additional human resources required,” said Mokgethi.

She said R1.5bn had been allocated to sustain posts that were created and filled for the Covid-19 response.

“In addition, an amount of R217m is also allocated to fund nursing agencies that continue to play a critical role in the delivery of health services in the face of the pandemic.”

In its efforts to ensure everyone has equal access to quality health care, the provincial department has budgeted R150.8m towards the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) over the 2021 MTEF.

“The amount allocated will be channelled towards preparing the healthcare system for the National Health Insurance by improving patients' experience of care, improving clinical outcomes, and ensuring that all facilities have achieved the ideal clinic and ideal hospital status, as well as certification of health facilities.”

Mokgethi also announced in her budget speech that provincial emergency medical services would receive R1.5bn in the 2021/22 financial year, and R4.8bn over the 2021 MTEF to improve emergency response times in urban and rural areas.

“Emergency medical services will also be equipped to deal with neonatal cases and the department will finalise the integration of vehicle tracking.”

She said her department was working “around the clock” to ensure Charlotte Maxeke Hospital was operational again after the fire which caused serious damage in April.

“Since Charlotte Maxeke is non-operational, we have lost ICU, high care and Covid-19 beds. We acknowledge that this has placed immense pressure on other hospitals that admitted patients from this facility.”