R145.7 billion sounds like a lot of money, and by all accounts it is sorely needed. Let's see how it will be put to use:
Of this amount, R52.3bn is for district
health services; R26.7bn for provincial services; and, R24.3bn for central
About R7.7bn is earmarked for spending on
Tabling his budget in the National Assembly
on Wednesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said spending on healthcare had
produced visible results.
"But the improvements to this
country's health system over the past five years are best seen in our rising
life expectancy, the reduction in infant, child and maternal mortality, and the
changed lives of 2.5 million people who now have access to antiretroviral."
budget has increased
He said R41bn had been spent on HIV and
Aids programmes over the past five years, and R43.5bn was budgeted for the next
paper on NHI to be tabled 'shortly'
"We have spent R38bn on 1879 hospitals
and other health facility projects, and R26 billion is allocated over the
Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period ahead."
once-off allocation has been made
A once-off allocation of R30 million had
been made for another South African demographic health survey, which collected
population-based health data.
The survey is normally carried out every
five years, but has not been done since 2003/04.
According to the 2014 Estimates of National
Expenditure, tabled by Gordon, the spending focus over the medium term is on
increasing life expectancy and reducing the burden of disease.
Is it enough?
Speaking to the Mail and Guardian, Daygan Eager of the Rural Health Advocacy Project at the University of the Witwatersrand said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2014 budget speech was "disappointing" and that 'Gordhan's commitment to lowering the budget deficit leaves little space for improvements in healthcare service delivery.'
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Image: balancing money and health, from Shutterstock