By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
Gauteng public hospitals are owed R38.2 million by the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, with some claims dating back to 2001.
This shock information is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
In the last three years, 9061 claims were lodged by the Gauteng Health Department for a total value of R17.4 million, but only R3.34 million was paid out by the Fund.
Workers whose employers are registered with the Fund can claim if they are involved in an accident at work or develop an illness caused by working conditions.
According to Mahlangu, the under-recovery is due to insufficient information provided by the patient with regard to employers’ details, and employers not completing the relevant Employers report (WCL 2).
There is also a lack of response by the Fund to the claims submitted.
The largest amount (R7.5 million) is owed to the Steve Biko Hospital.
Other hospitals with more than R1 million outstanding include the following:
- Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg – R4.9 million;
- Tembisa – R4.416 million;
- George Mukhari – R4.399 million;
- Thelle Mogoerane (Natalspruit) – R2.47 million;
- Helen Joseph – R2.19 million;
- Kalafong – R1.95 million;
- Chris Hani Baragwanath – R1.78 million; and
- Leratong – R1.37 million.
The hospital with least owing to it is Rahima Moosa Hospital, where only R5186 is outstanding.
The department appointed a service provider in November last year to assist in recovery of outstanding claims from the Fund, but this measure has clearly failed
It is outrageous that so much is owed from the Fund, as the money is desperately needed to improve treatment in our hospitals.
Effective measures should be taken to ensure that outstanding money is recovered as soon as possible.