Rustenburg - The North West health department has cancelled the controversial Mediosa contract and revised the scope of private ambulance services, health member of the executive council (MEC) Dr Magome Masike said on Friday.
"We can announce now that Mediosa contract has been cancelled. With regard to Buthelezi EMS and High Care EMS, the North West department of health has revised the scope of work for these two contracted private ambulance service providers," he said.
"We had contracted these two service providers to do inter-facility transfers to allow state ambulances to focus on emergencies. Effective from 1 June 2018, contracted private ambulance service providers will only respond to cases as and when called to do so by authorised personnel within the department."
Private ambulance service providers will only be utilised when provincial state resources were over-stretched. The department purchased and registered 40 ambulances.
Mediosa received an upfront payment of R30 million before it did any work for the department.
Masike said the department would claim back the money from Mediosa.
"It can't be that in a village of 2,000 people you got 16,000 patients or so, we have issues with that. We have to iron out all those so that we subtract them from the R30 million that they were paid in advance for doing nothing. That is the point of controversy and we think we are on the right track, we want to recoup the money of the taxpayers and we are going to do."
He said the department was working with the administrator Jeanette Hunter, to address the problems faced by workers at administration level in the provincial office and in the districts.
"These include areas of financial management particularly to deal with irregular expenditure and accruals. Supply chain management which is characterised by irregular supply chain and material deviation from procurement practices have been identified as carrying fiscal risks which end up draining the resources of the department."
Hunter said the department had a budget of R204 million but, would run out of money by September and they would ask Treasury for assistance.
Masike said despite the problems in the past, the department was now getting back on track to deliver quality services to the people of the North West.
The department was expected to welcome more than 100 doctors who had completed their studies in Cuba and workers' problems were being attended to.
"All issues raised by the labour union [National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union] Nehawu as demands and areas of concerns are being attended to by the Intervention Team assisted by the Management Team of the Department, including the Performance Management Development System," he said.
"We saw this department go to greater heights to become became the first in the country to cure an XDR patient. We are now able to conduct operations of the cancers of the brain, spine and stomach operations and no longer have to take patients to Gauteng for that."
African News Agency/ANA