Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday spoke out strongly against the mismanagement of funds in the public healthcare system.
In his budget vote speech to Parliament, the minister lashed out at what he called “a tendercare system”.
“It is no longer a healthcare system, but another form of uncontrolled commercialism,” he said. “The manifestation of this tendency is the disappearance of funds.”
Motsoaledi said the non-payment of suppliers had to cease and R30.3m would be spent to establish a unit to render financial support to the provinces and improve audit outcomes.
“The department has appointed 100 unemployed graduates with BCom degrees to undergo an internship programme,” he said.
In order to address backlogs, R10m will be spent on forensic laboratories yearly.
“We have appointed 70 unemployed graduates with degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering to improve the performance of our forensic laboratories,” he said.
Motsoaledi emphasised that the process of achieving universal coverage through the National Health Insurance (NHI) had reached a “point of no return.” Ten NHI pilot districts around the country were announced in March and R1bn set aside for this purpose.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said it was committed to stamping out the “tendercare system”.
“The appointment of unemployed graduates as interns to improve services from forensic laboratories and to support financial management is commendable,” the union said in a statement.
“However, what is more important is the filling of posts as improvements arising from the audit cannot make a significant difference without the human resources to provide the care.”