27 March 2012

WCape allocates health budget

Western Cape health services will receive R14.6 billion for the new financial year, provincial MEC Theuns Botha announced.


Western Cape health services will receive R14.6 billion for the new financial year, provincial MEC Theuns Botha announced.

About 60% of the budget would be spent on staff in various divisions and 30% on the procurement of goods and services, he said in a speech prepared for delivery in the provincial legislature.

The department's focus would shift in 2012/2013 from treating illnesses to promoting wellness among the 5.9 million people in the province. Projects were in the pipeline to reduce alcohol-related injuries, chronic disease and family violence.

Psychiatric hospital gets an upgrade

Community health was allocated a third of the annual budget, with a focus on district hospitals and local health clinics and centres, he said.

The province's central hospitals – Groote Schuur, Tygerberg and the Red Cross Children's Hospital—were allocated another third of the budget.

"[These hospitals] provide highly specialised health care services and a platform for research and training of health workers by the universities," Botha said.

Valkenberg psychiatric hospital would be upgraded and completed by 2016 as a priority project.

Judicial processes delayed

"For some years now, normal judicial processes have been seriously delayed because the current Valkenberg hospital does not have the capacity to assess awaiting-trial persons who have committed crimes as serious as murder," he said.

The R978m project would begin in January 2013 and would increase the hospital's capacity from 340 beds to 432 beds.

Botha said the department was handling the most capital-heavy projects in the province's history, with a total cost exceeding R5 billion over a number of years.

New hospital for Mitchells Plain

Some of the projects were still in the feasibility, design and tender phase.

He said others were in the construction and hand-over phase, including community day centres in Knysna, Grabouw and Malmesbury.

Hermanus and George Hospitals were being extended and upgraded, and Mitchells Plain was to get a new district hospital.

(Sapa, March 2012) 

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