NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gauteng Health won't get funds from universities – Jack Bloom

DA says MEC Gwen Ramokgopa was grasping at straws with her claim to the contrary

Gauteng Health won't get funds from universities

21 November 2017

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has claimed that her department is owed R2.7 billion from universities for the funding of joint appointments of health professionals.

But Wits University has issued a statement that "categorically denies any assertion that it owes the GDoH any funds for joint health professional appointments."

According to Wits, the joint appointees have historically been paid by the provincial government through the Healthcare Professions Training and Development Grant, which was more than R800 million for the 2017/18 financial year.

They argue that there was an undertaking in the Memorandum of Agreement signed with the Department to explore and evaluate the costs for the provision of clinical training in the future, but no such discussions have taken place.

It seems to me that Ramokgopa is grasping at straws in trying to get money from the medical faculties of Gauteng universities which are severely stretched financially.

Financial rescue will require a once-off bailout from Treasury which is tied to strict financial controls and a crackdown on rampant wastage, inefficiency and corruption.

I welcome the transfer of former National Treasury Official Michael Sachs to the Gauteng Premier's office with a specific mandate to fix the finances of the Health Department.

His expertise is sorely needed, but he will only succeed with strong political backing to clear out all the rot.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 21 November 2017