The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has requested its colleagues in the national parliament to table a motion today (subs: wed, 19 May) for a national bail-out for the debt-stricken provincial Department of Health.

This action follows after promises did not materialise that the national government would reimburse the department a total of R449 million for payments for Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) and back pay in relation to the Human Resource Operating Team (HROPT) process.

The total 2010/2011 budget for the Eastern Cape Department of Health is R13, 34 billion. The department has accrued debt of R994 million and is facing an overdraft currently of R468 million.

The department has made unbudgeted payments of R169 million for OSD, R380 million for HROPT and an additional R150 million to Fleet Africa for ambulances and other departmental vehicles.

It is clear from the figures above that the department is in serious trouble. Recovery plans in conjunction with the provincial administration and –treasury is not going to solve this mess. It is time that the national government comes on board with more than just promises.

The DA believes that the various tiers of government should work in conjunction with each other to enhance service delivery to people who have no choice but to depend on the public health system.

I requested the DA’s Eastern Cape representative on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Elza van Lingen, to table the motion in the National Parliament.

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