Health dept doubtful about fees
The Gauteng department of health believes that recovery of at least
40 percent of the R426 million in outstanding patient fees is
"doubtful", the department said on Monday.
Verifying patient details
Steps taken to recover the money include having a credit bureau
verify patient details because some patients avoid providing the
correct details to evade payment.
Department spokeswoman Zanele Mngadi said they were also
hand-delivering accounts to medical schemes where possible, were
phoning debtors to remind them of the outstanding accounts, sending
reminders to medical aids, and, as a final step, debts are handed over
to the State Attorney to take legal action.
Mngadi said the amount of R426 million included outstanding fees
from previous years.
"This figure is inclusive of all other previous years. Some 40% of
the outstanding amount is doubtful in terms of collectability," she
Lack of revenue skills
In reply to earlier questions from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the
department said that reasons for outstanding accounts included
settlement delays by medical schemes, the lengthy legal processes
required for claims against the Road Accident Fund, and the lack of
staff with revenue skills at hospitals.
The Johannesburg Hospital had the most outstanding accounts with
R157.6 million owed.
In a statement the DA suggested outsourcing debt collection to
private agencies. – (Sapa)