Mpumalanga health MEC says budget will help solve public healthcare challenges

MEC Sasekani Manzini said in their efforts to expand access to services, the department will be opening several facilities this year it had begun building in previous years.

During the recent 2022/23 budget and policy speech at the Provincial Legislature, the MEC for health, Sasekani Manzini, said policy and budget speeches are a social contract a people’s government makes with them.

A total budget of R16.8b for the 2022/23 financial year has been allocated for the department as per the following programmes: administration services have a budget of R361.1m, district health services have a share of R10.4b, emergency medical services were given R446.07m, provincial hospital services have a budget of R1.6b, central hospital services have a share of R1.4b, health sciences and training services have a budget of R510.1m, healthcare support services have a total budget of R295.4m, and health facilities’ management services have a share of R1.5b.

Manzini discussed various issues such as achievements, plans they have for the current financial year to solve issues faced and future plans they have for the province. As she was listing the plans, she also discussed strategies for infrastructure delivery and maintenance.

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“I am fully aware that some of these clinics’ infrastructure struggle to meet the demand of the community. In recent years, we have observed a high rate of mushrooming communities that demand to have fixed structures even if they do not qualify to have one due to population size. These pose a challenge for us, because most of the new areas are highly scattered, disorganised, and lack basic services owing to the municipalities’ spatial plan not capturing them.”

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According to Manzini, they have developed an infrastructure plan on envisaged construction of health facilities in areas that do not have fixed structures.

“The department has also developed a five-year provincial infrastructure improvement and maintenance scheme. However, government can only achieve this in a phase-in approach given the limited resources at the disposal of our fiscals. The challenge is inadequate budget for maintenance and improvement of infrastructure. R10m has been put aside for clinics earmarked to be ideal clinics.”

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