Health spend to lengthen lives

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Johannesburg - The Health Department will get R145.7 billion in the 2014/15 Budget.

Of this amount, R52.3bn is for district health services, R26.7bn for provincial services and R24.3bn for central health services.

About R7.7bn is earmarked for spending on health infrastructure.

Tabling his Budget in the National Assembly yesterday, Pravin Gordhan said spending on health care had produced visible results.

“But the improvements to this country’s health system over the past five years are best seen in our rising life expectancy, the reduction in infant, child and maternal mortality, and the changed lives of 2.5 million people who now have access to antiretrovirals.”

He said R41bn had been spent on HIV and Aids programmes over the past five years, and R43.5bn was budgeted for the next three years.

“We have spent R38bn on 1 879 hospitals and other health facility projects, and R26bn is allocated over the medium-term expenditure framework period ahead,” he said.

A once-off allocation of R30 million has been made for another South African demographic health survey, which collects population-based health data. The health survey is normally carried out every five years, but this has not been done since 2003/04.

According to this year’s Estimates of National Expenditure, tabled by Gordhan, the spending focus over the medium term is on increasing life expectancy and reducing the burden of disease. - Sapa

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