The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has called for the provincial department of health to be placed under administration to prevent its imminent collapse and deaths related to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, reported City Press (11 July 2021). About 80% of the department’s total budget goes to employee costs and soaring medico-legal claims, while little goes to the actual business of saving lives.

In her written reply, health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth said most of the province’s budget went to personnel costs and medico-legal claims, while only 7% went to goods and services. Of the total budget for the department for the 2021/22 financial year of R26.5-bn, it is estimated that, in real terms, the department has R22.3-bn to function in the current financial year, primarily as a result

of projected payables and accruals of R4.4-billion vesting at year end, as well as unfunded and unbudgeted

medico-legal settlements.

Sizwe Kupelo, provincial health spokesperson, said the department is prioritising the issue of service delivery in the circumstances, including extending Covid-19 contract posts for nursing staff to be in a better position to deal with the virus confronting.

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