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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Health Department will continue implementing its strategy plan and would monitor all areas where it could cut costs and eliminate waste, officials said on Sunday.
“The areas of cost containment include fleet management, laboratory services, medical supplies, overtime and generic ones such as cellphones, catering, photocopying, travelling, the review of contracts for cost effectiveness against market rates and value for money,” said Health MEC Hope Papo.
He was speaking at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital on the department's achievements in the past year and its goals for the 2013/2014 financial year.
“To this extent, the implementation of the cost containment plan has resulted in savings of around R100-million,” said Papo.
He said the department had until now, paid 99 percent of the debt owed to its suppliers.
The department aimed to improve the response times of emergency medical services. Papo said they also wanted to see completion of the construction work at the new Zola/Jabulani hospital in Soweto by April 1.
“The province will procure 100 new ambulances and 20 specialised obstetric ambulances to respond to expectant women in labour.”
“The hospital will be operational from this date and will operate at between 70 percent and 90 percent capacity.”
He said the hospital would offer paediatric services, a mortuary, maternity services and theatre.
The department said the availability of essential medicines at health facilities had increased from 40 percent to 78 percent, but they hoped to increase this to 98 percent this year.
Papo said the re-engineering of the medical supply depot was continuing while the construction of the new Gauteng Medical Supply Depot would start during the 2013/2014 financial year.
“We are hopeful that the department’s efforts to improve the quality of health care for all South Africans will yield positive results,” he said. - Sapa