Department of Health 2011/2012 Budget Adjustments
The amount initially approved for Health in the 2011/2012 financial year was R13 395 billion and, after additions in this adjustment budget, the total health budget increases to R13 428 billion - an increase of R33 85 million. This is one of the smallest adjustment budgets ever for the Western Cape Health budget. This reflects the trend that is reflected overall in the provincial adjustment budget for the 2011/2012 financial year.
Bulk of Additional Funds
The bulk of the additional funds are made up of R16 995 million which are rollover funds of R9 257 million from the Hospital Revitalisation Programme (HRP) due to slow progress on site by various contractors and R7 601 million from the Infrastructure Grant to Provinces (IGP) due to the timing of acceptance of a tender before the holiday period at the yearend. In addition, R15 121 million are funds rolled from the Global Fund Grant for HIV and AIDS as a result of the delay in the signing of the agreement with the Global Fund. The balance is made up by a correction of R2 852 million for the Extended Public Works Programme to address the difference between the provincial and national allocations in the initial budget allocation.
Purchase of Property for Community Day Centre in Oudtshoorn
A further amount of R1 368 million is transferred from the Health budget to that of the Department of Transport and Public Works to allow for the purchase of a property in Oudtshoorn that will replace the currently substandard community day centre in central Oudtshoorn.
Expenditure Higher in Second Half
With respect to the expenditure trends experienced in the first half of the 2011/2012 financial year, the department will spend as in past years proportionately more in the second half of the financial year. The reasons for this are multi-factorial but in large measure is due to the planning and acquisition cycle as well as the practice of paying transfer payments in last six months of the year.
Goods and Services
The current projections of expenditure for the full financial year indicate a break-even situation as a result of tight control of staff numbers and specific strategies to curtail expenditure for goods and services. A donation of AIDS medication and careful management of pharmaceuticals has allowed the department to decrease the overall expenditure on drugs while the "gate-keeping" that was introduced for laboratory investigations has reduced expenditure without affecting the levels of patient care provided. The gate-keeping referred to here is the process to ensure that only approved laboratory tests can be requested by clinicians. This has the duplication of tests and has significantly reduced laboratory expenditure.
Increasing Patient Numbers
These and other strategies will be essential in the coming financial year to deal with the increasing challenges placed on the department by increasing patient numbers and a limited increase in the budget allocations as spelt out by my colleagues Minister Alan Winde in the Provincial Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.
Western Cape Health Foundation
I am happy to report that significant progress has been made to facilitate the formation of a Western Cape Health Foundation in 2012 which will play a key part in providing the department with an additional income stream. An assessment undertaken has indicated that there is both an appetite and enthusiasm in the private sector from both large and small companies to support public sector health care in the Western Cape through such a foundation. The positive response is in no small measure due to both the reputation for solid and clean administration in the Western Cape Government and the Western Cape Department of Health. I am heartened by the response from the private sector and feel confident that this partnership with the private sector will ultimately benefit the people of the Western Cape.
Health Care 2020
Finally in the next few weeks the department will release a discussion document "2020 - The Future of Health Care in the Western Cape" that has been approved by the Western Cape Cabinet setting out the broad thrust of the proposed strategy for the health services for the next ten years. This forms a key part of the provincial strategic objective, "Increasing Wellness". The draft framework is open for dialogue and encourages all stakeholders to make an input as to the nature and shape of public sector health services in this province. I am encouraging as many people as possible, including patients and staff, organisations and stakeholders in the health sector to use the opportunity to participate in determining the future of health care in the Western Cape!