By: Jane Sithole MPL, DA Mpumalanga Premier Candidate
The 3.8 million people in Mpumalanga who depend on the state for healthcare have been dealt yet another blow after the Health Department lost millions meant for vital healthcare programmes during today’s provincial budget adjustment.
Mpumalanga’s almost defunct Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will lose R23.9 million. This, despite severe shortages of EMS staff, vehicles and medical equipment. The department had budgeted to buy another 17 ambulances however with this massive budget cut, it is unlikely that this will happen.
R59.9 million will be taken away from the province’s District Healthcare Services which will result in further strain for clinics which are already struggling to cater to their communities because of staff, equipment and medicine shortages. According to the Health Department, no new staff will be appointed in this quarter meaning that dire situation in the province’s clinics will only get worse.
The Provincial Hospital Services budget will be cut by R30.6 million while the Central Hospital Service budget will be reduced by R9.5 million. Health MEC, Sasekani Manzini’s Department has made no effort to ensure efficient spending as both tertiary hospitals in Mpumalanga do not have laundry facilities and have a severe shortage of specialists, medical equipment and consumables.
The Health Sciences and Training programme, responsible for training nurses and EMS students will lose R13.3 million despite the clear shortage of healthcare workers in the province. While this is the only program that is not struggling financially, the health Department’s second quarter report for the 2018/19 financial year shows that there has been mismanagement of this programme’s bursary system.
By failing to stop the Health Department from losing so much money, MEC Manzini, just like her ANC, has failed the people of Mpumalanga whose healthcare will be compromised even further by this budget cut
It is only a DA-led government that can bring real change to Mpumalanga by putting an end to the corruption that has crippled the Health Department and speeding up the delivery of quality services for all.
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