Govt owes E125 million to SA service providers
AE600 000 debt by the Phalala Fund to one of the South African service providers that could have been managed suddenly shot up to E1 million in just six months.
This is part of the findings by the Parliament Select Committee that visited the South African service providers on a fact finding mission this week. Chairman Sandile Nxumalo told the Observer on Saturday this week they were appalled to learn that some service providers are preferred than others when payments are made by the Fund administrators. He stated that they were told that the above amount, which was not paid in time to an eye specialist, eventually shot up to E1 million because the service provider had no one to speak to pertaining to the payment as no one from the ministry of health bothers to negotiate with the owed service providers.
Nxumalo revealed that in total, they found out that government owes as much as E125 million with E20 million being owed to service providers under Netcare, an umbrella body for some of these service providers.
The South African institutions, especially those under Netcare, stopped providing medical assistance to Emaswati with the hope that government would act fast in negotiating for continued treatment while scouting for money to settle the debts.
“The situation on the ground is very bad and officials from Netcare told us that nothing was coming in as payment to their affiliates. Mind you, these include the five star health service providers that include Milpark and Sunninghill where Emaswati would receive the best treatment, especially in cancer related treatments.
We are talking here about at least 57 service providers under Netcare, who have all stopped treating Swazis. There are some service providers that are owed as much as E10 million, but were humble enough to meet us and discuss the way forward,” elaborated Nxumalo.
The legislator also sounded worried that upon their investigations they found out that the whole mess in the administration dates back to 2013 when the term of the 10th Parliament commenced and subsequently when the current Minister of Health Sibongile Simelane took over the reins at the ministry.
NO LAUGHING MATTER: Somntongo Member of Parliament Sandile Nxumalo.