The Eastern Cape Department of Health has ran out of money, two months before the end of the financial year. To rub salt into this wound, the fact is that the department paid out a whopping R1,5 billion for items that was not budgeted for. Furthermore, this is a repeat of last year, when the department ran out of money as well.

The DA warned the department in the house during the December plenary session that it would run out funds due to unmandated payments of some R800 million in back pay to provincial employees, commonly known as the Human Resource Operating Team (HROPT).  A further unbudgeted R250 million was paid towards Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD).

This is a shocking and unacceptable state of affairs in a department that has been underfunded and poorly managed for years. Once again the long suffering service providers will not be paid.

Last year the Health Department ran out of money and could not pay its suppliers for the last three months of the financial year, resulting in over R700 million in unpaid accounts being carried over from 2008/09 to 2009/10.

This ongoing mismanagement will cripple health services in the province, and will especially affect the poor, whole are wholly reliant on the state healthcare system.

Health MEC Phumulo Masualle must take full responsibility for this debacle. Simply putting a plaster over this festering sore by begging for bridging finance from the Treasury is not going to make the pain go away.

For further information, please contact Pine Pienaar, MPL on 082 446 1888

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