The Gauteng Health Department failed to spend R908.5 million in the financial year that ended on 31 March 2020.
This is revealed in the Department’s Fourth Quarterly Report that was recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature.
The biggest underspend was R1.8 billion in District Health Services which is attributed to delays in filling of vacant positions.
Emergency Medical Services failed to spend R100 million, and the underspend of R230 million by Provincial Hospital Services is attributed to delays with the creation and filling of vacant posts, and delays with the delivery of machinery and equipment.
The overall underspend would have been higher but was offset to some extent by an overspend of R505 million as a result of payments of medico legal claims and related legal fees. There were some overspends in other programmes as well which shows poor financial management.
Last year the Department underspent by R631.4 million. It is disappointing that the Department has yet again failed to spend its full budget despite the dire need in our hospitals and clinics.
Continuing poor management will hinder the provision of quality health services, especially with the current huge challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic.