Health Department owes R3 billion in outstanding accruals

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

The Department of Health owes more than R3 306 151 427,65 in outstanding accruals across six of the provinces.

This, as well as the fact that these provinces had failed to pay 1 750 service providers, was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in answer to a written parliamentary question from the DA.

The outstanding accruals is likely much more as the Gauteng, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga failed to provide the necessary information.

The Department of Health’s disturbing trend of apparently trying to dodge accountability seems to have pulled through to the provinces. Gauteng is a nest of corruption and scandal – certainly not a province that should be allowed to evade accountability. Nor should any of the provinces.

The fact that Minister Phaahla was unable to get the simplest of information from three of the provinces is as clear an indication as any that the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which the ANC is trying to bulldoze through Parliament, will be nothing but a bureaucratic nightmare that will overwhelm an already failing public health system.

More and more stories of corruption and mismanagement are reported almost daily, yet consequence management isn’t properly implemented. The public health system has no hope of survival if those that abuse it are not brought to book. Maybe the Minister could start by questioning why the Gauteng, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga Provincial Health Departments failed to supply information and ensuring that this does not happen again.

South Africans cannot possibly trust the ANC government with the immense structural reform that the NHI requires when the continuously fail in even the simplest of things, like paying service providers on time, ensuring that hospital infrastructure are maintained, filling critical vacant posts, and answering simple questions with information that should be on hand if the correct systems were in place.