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12 April 2017


The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) is slamming the Gauteng Department of Health (DoH) for mismanagement of the public purse leading to assets being seized.  The Union says poor planning during budgeting processes was chiefly responsible for the crisis, and it bemoans the fact that this has a detrimental effect on service delivery to patients.  Hospersa calls for the urgent intervention of the Minister of Health to address the failures.


The Gauteng Department of Health (DoH) was reportedly forced to offer some of its assets to the sheriff for attachment.  This was because of a bid to settle legal claims for negligence at provincial and regional hospitals.  It was reported that in 2016 alone, the department’s legal fees amounted to R569 million with medico-legal claims showing a steady increase.


“There should have been better planning on the department’s side to avoid its assets being attached,” said Hospersa Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Abel Sibande.  “It is unacceptable to see a removal truck loading state-owned assets while there should have been a budget allocated to settle legal claims,” he added.


Reports stated that the DoH admitted to over-committing on the budget allocation because of payments made for settlements of medico-legal claims from monies meant for service delivery and payment of suppliers.   The DoH is said to be owing more than R1,2 billion in late payments to 808 service providers due to insufficient budget allocations and an increase of patients from other provinces.


“This is a result of poor management which leads to the most vulnerable being affected,” Sibande said.  “It is a complete oversight to ignore rising [medico-legal] claims when you plan and set out your budget.  Someone should take accountability as service delivery is being hampered and this we seriously condemn,” he added.


“We have a clear mandate from our members to address the various issues related to poor management and corruption, staff shortages and OHS [Occupational Health & Safety] – particularly in the public service.  These were part of our 2013 National Congress Resolutions,” said Sibande.  “Poor management is the root cause in this instance.  Hospersa is noting that mismanagement – particularly at Gauteng Health, is becoming the order of the day and this must stop now.  We call on the Minister [of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi] to call them [Gauteng Health] to order and bring the accountable officials to book,” Sibande concluded.



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For interviews please contact Hospersa Gauteng Provincial Secretary Abel Sibande on 083-654-7362.


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