The Gauteng health department saved more than R38 million through mediation in liability suits between October 2019 and March 2020, Health MEC Bandile Masuku said on Friday.
Masuku delivered a virtual budget speech at the legislature. He said mediation, rather than litigation, was beginning to take root and yield results in Gauteng.
“We anticipate the contingent liability of medico-legal cases to be reduced from R22 billion to R19.8 billion in the current financial year.”
The MEC spoke of 10 priority hospital projects the department completed, adding that implementation had begun.
The department will also be investing R1.1 billion for maintenance and refurbishment of these hospitals this year.
He said that in the 2020/21 financial year, infrastructure programmes would include implementation of measures to improve electronic security surveillance in all health facilities.
“At the end of this financial year, we will open seven new facilities in the province, namely Mandisa Shiceka Day Clinic (Hammanskraal), Boikhutsong Clinic (Soshanguve), Phillip Moyo Memorial Health Clinic (Daveyton-Ethwathwa), Khutsong South (Khutsong), Finetown Clinic (Ennerdale), Greens Park Clinic (West Rand) and Kekana Stad (Kekana Gardens).
“In three weeks’ time, we will have an opportunity to open a state-of-the-art neonatal unit at Mamelodi Hospital which will be critical in our fight to reduce neonatal mortality,” he said.
The department’s emergency medical service, which attends to more than 100,000 calls in the province, with 65% of those routed to emergency calls, will receive a further investment.
Masuku said additional EMS vehicles to the tune of R294 million would be added to the department’s fleet. This translates to 290 ambulances.
“The Covid-19 pandemic presents us with the opportunity to accelerate our programmes. We have no doubt that our system will be tested to the limit. Whatever resources we put in this fight, we have an obligation to ensure that our health system is future proof for all crises,” he said.