Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

City hospitals to be included in R6.7 billion budget

- Shorné Bennie

Pietermari­tzburg health care facilities are among the hospitals in the province set to receive repairs worth R6.7 billion in the Medium Term Expenditur­e Framework.

Northdale and Grey’s hospitals have been earmarked to receive repairs to the value of R20 million and R29 million respective­ly.

The Department of Health receives the second highest portion of the provincial budget at 35.3%, with a budget of R49.6 billion.

The MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said during her budget speech last week that the bulk of the department’s budget allocation is for the delivery of primary health care services to the approximat­ely 87.4% uninsured population of KZN.

“At Northdale Hospital, an amount of R20 million is budgeted for roof repairs; and at Grey’s, R29 million is budgeted for roof repairs and upgrades to the accommodat­ion facilities for doctors and nurses.”

Also, in a bid to ensure improved ease of access to health care, Dube-Ncube said the department will continue with the Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distributi­on (CCMDD) programme that makes it easier for chronic patients to collect their monthly medication­s from central distributi­on centres.

“KZN has 791 940 active patients in this programme. There are 810 external pick-up points where patients go to collect their medication. The department is also working with an NGO to introduce a Pelebox, where patients go to collect the medication using their ID as a code to open the box. There are already 23 peleboxes in use, with eight in eThekwini, three in Zululand, four in Umgungundl­ovu, three in uThukela and five in Amajuba,” she said.

Harry Gwala Hospital (formerly Edendale Hospital) has also been named as one of the hospitals in the province that will be upgraded from district hospital to regional hospital. She said this move will aid in improving access to specialise­d services.

Dube-Ncube added that centres have been identified to provide for the healthcare of children born with Cerebral Palsy. One of these include the Pietermari­tzburg Assessment and Therapy Centre.

“As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the medico-legal bill, the department will continue to equip seven identified centres of excellence that will attend to the healthcare needs of children who are born with Cerebral Palsy and other ailments,” said Dube-Ncube.

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