MECs blew R500m of patients’ money

07 November 2017 - 06:57 By Penwell Dlamini
Gwen Ramokgopa said the department wasted money buying basic goods via tender, rather than sourcing them from a store. File photo.
Gwen Ramokgopa said the department wasted money buying basic goods via tender, rather than sourcing them from a store. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lisa Hnatowicz)

Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has revealed that her predecessors spent R500-million on a data-storage facility that the department did not need.

In her third visit to the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus, Ramokgopa said she had identified areas where the department had been reckless in its spending.

"For example, the department procured V-Block, which is a data-storage facility that is very big and can accommodate the whole of Gauteng government and maybe one or two other provinces," she said.

"The estimated cost is almost half a billion rands. This [happened] while the department already has a storage facility for the e-governance department.

The MEC said the department faced two financial risks.

"The first one was a huge accrual status. The debt we owed for services provided and medical litigation. In terms of accrual, I can indicate that R10.6-billion has been paid to 5712 suppliers," Ramokgopa said.

"In April, payment in 30 days of receiving an invoice stood at 12% and that has improved to 50%."

Thelle Mogoerane Hospital was in the news recently when security guards downed tools to protest against unpaid salaries.

Ramokgopa said the department wasted money buying basic goods via tender, rather than sourcing them from a store.

"Our inventory last year was in excess of R1-billion," she said.

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