By Dr Imran Keeka, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health:
A PARLIAMENTARY reply to questions posed by the DA has revealed that KZN’s health department has at least 1 533 ‘ghost’ employees, with a departmental salary bill of R24million a month.
The figure is set to increase if the audit is completed by the end of this month. According to the reply, copies of the audit are expected to be available by 30 October.
The reply by KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, also states that the investigation includes major provincial health institutions such as Addington Hospital, Edendale Hospital RK Khan and King Edward VIII. This after it was extended from just Grey’s Hospital.
The DA is stunned by this figure.
It points to gross mismanagement and extreme tardiness on the part of the MEC and his department. The sheer number of ‘ghost’ employees is evidence that individuals have been taking advantage of the system for a very long time.
It is intolerable that more than R288million per year is being paid to people who have no intention of setting foot inside a hospital while health services continue to decline.
The information comes as a result of a series of parliamentary questions by the DA. In an earlier response, MEC Dhlomo states that the Grey’s audit is complete – in another he reveals that this is in fact not the case and that an extension has been granted.
This lack of transparency is yet another concern to the DA.
The latest reply confirms that the audit is being conducted by the DOH along with a panel of contracted investigators. Their salary bill along with the total of cost of the exercise will only be known at the end of the month.
Excellent healthcare is the right of every citizen in our province. In failing to deal timeously with the looting of its own coffers, MEC Dhlomo and his department have let down the people of KZN.