‘No more excuses’ says Health MEC

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LERATO LELIA

Underfunding and improper budget planning are some of the reasons the Free State Health Department is facing a health system crisis. This is according to FS Health MEC, Benny Malakoane as he addressed the media last week with regards to his department’s ‘financial turnaround strategy’.

Malakoane said the two percent increase in the department’s budget, from the previous R7.9billion allocation to the current R8.1billion, is below inflation and is not enough to cover the department’s health system demands.

“The two percent increase is way below inflation and that on its own covers the under-allocation issue in relation to the demands that constantly arise or the pressures that are made on the Department of Health. Through the demands of services by the communities of mainly the Free State plus those of the neighbouring provinces that we support,” said Malakoane.

The FS Health Department recently embarked on a budget analysis programme that led to the implementation of the financial turnaround strategy. “We found that the biggest area of weakness was in the budget planning by the department f health which resulted in misallocations in the main and weak cash flow management. Those were essentially at the core of the problems that the department had,” added Malakoane.

The strategy will include having funds re-allocated where there were misallocations. “What happened was there were some skew allocations between compensation of employees and goods and services. Following that analysis the proper calculations and reallocations were done,” said Malakoane.

Malakoane said with the implementation of the new financial turnaround strategy managers of institutions will no longer have an excuse for mismanagement. “No manager of an institution (Health) can say he is running out of stock of medicines or consumables because we have given them no reason now to have any such excuse,” he added.

The investigation into the medication and consumables that were discovered, reportedly hidden away at Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital recently, is still ongoing.