Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has vowed to get to the bottom of the problems experienced in various government hospitals in Limpopo, including reports of shortage in food supplies for patients.
Relatives of patients were reportedly forced this week to bring food to at least three hospitals after suppliers apparently stopped delivering the food.
“I would like to assure the public that we doing everything we can to get to the bottom of this,” Motsoaledi said, adding that some suppliers were told “by various people” not to deliver food to hospitals because they will not be paid.
“We are aware of this. Two suppliers have told me that some people have phoned them to say they must stop supplying because they will not be paid and we are dealing with that,” he said.
Motsoaledi was speaking at a media briefing on Thursday to address the implementation of the section 100 (1) intervention in the Limpopo administration.
The minister said the department will move with speed in paying suppliers but that no payments will be made unless the necessary proof of the goods supplied is produced.
“We have paid some but obviously we could not pay where there was no proof. This is the public’s money and people need to understand that.”
As of 14 December, Motsoaledi said the province owed suppliers R138 million but that only half of these payments could be verified and approved for payment on 23 December. It also emerged that the provincial health department has projected overspending its budget by R461 million.
“It is clear that failure to pay suppliers and possible refusal by suppliers to do business with the provincial administration would be a direct threat to public health in Limpopo,” he said.
The national government had since assisted in verifying payments and settling accounts with service providers, while a call has been made to health facilities to continue procuring essential services to ensure the smooth running of public health in the province. – BuaNews