The Gauteng department of health says it is keeping a close eye on the commuted overtime claims by health professionals within the province in an effort to prevent fraudulent activities.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department said that it was looking to ensure accountability and implementation of control measures to prevent any abuse of the system.
The department explained that commuted overtime was used to ensure adequate capacity within the health system, especially when effectively utilised.
“With the control measures in place, this will mean that no irregular expenditure would take place. The acting Gauteng health MEC Jacob Mamabolo has emphasised that the provincial health department has a duty to ensure that public funds allocated to it are efficiently utilised to improve the lives of the people in the province.”
The control measures in place included:
- Reviewing of commuted overtime contracts annually based on service delivery and operational needs to determine the commuted hours to be worked at an institution.
- Receiving and reviewing of overtime applications at institutional level, by the clinical management and/or the human resources (HR) overtime committee.
- Monthly district health information system reports.
- Quarterly reports submitted by clinical head of units/departments.
- Verifiable rosters signed by the responsible clinical manager/s and the completion of attendance registers was an audit requirement that must be complied with. Traceable and verifiable evidence of compliance should be available for audit purposes at health facilities.
- In instances where gross abuse was identified, disciplinary action is taken.
The department also provided a breakdown of commuted overtime in the last three financial years for medical and dental personnel:
In May, the DA raised concern after it was alleged that the Gauteng provincial government spent more than R200 million on overtime wages over the last five years.