R773M OWED BY GAUTENG HEALTH TO COUNCILS

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

The Gauteng Health Department owes local councils R773 million for health services delivered on its behalf. This includes primary health care services and emergency services.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Ntombe Mekgwe in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

The highest amount owing is to Johannesburg Metro Council which is owed R319 million. Ekurhuleni is owed R292.6 million and R78.4 million is owing to Tshwane.

Other councils are owed the following amounts:

Sedibeng: R34.7 million West Rand District Municipality: R15.8 million Emfuleni: R15.5 million Mogale City: R8.4 million Merafong: R7.2 million Lesedi: R287 000

These debts are on top of huge amounts owing to hospital suppliers and to health NGOs.

According to Mekgwe “The department has during the financial year experienced cash flow challenges during which funds were not immediately available to pay suppliers of goods and services. This includes payments to municipalities”.

Local councils cannot be expected to provide health services without a provincial subsidy. The ratepayer ends up carrying the can on top of increases for other municipal services.

The Gauteng Health Department must fix up its finances soon and ensure that it meets all its financial obligations.

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