North West Health MEC Magome Masike says his department is hard at work to implement an intervention plan to restore stability to the department.

“We will continue to work together with the Administrator to address the challenges faced by our employees at administration level in the Provincial Office and at the coal face of service delivery in the Districts. The team has developed the health sector intervention plan for the Province.

“These include areas of financial management particularly to deal with irregular expenditure and accruals. Supply Chain Management which is characterised by irregular supply chain and material deviation from procurement practices have been identified as carrying fiscal risks which end up draining the resources of the department,” said the MEC.

The MEC made the remarks at the Provincial Health Consultative Forum which is being used to update health stakeholders with the state of health services, intervention progress, turnaround strategy and the financial performance of the department since it was placed under administration.

In June, the department cancelled the contract with the mobile clinic, Mediosa, which was procured without following the correct procurement procedures. The department also extended the suspension of its Head of Department Thabo Lekalakala.

“We have extended the suspension of the HOD to allow investigation to complete and to give time to a disciplinary process.

“All issues raised by the labour union Nehawu as demands and areas of concerns are being attended to by the Intervention Team assisted by the Management Team of the Department, including the Performance Management Development System (PMDS),” said Masike.

With regards to Buthelezi EMS and High Care EMS, the department revised the scope of work for the two contracted private ambulance service providers.

“We had contracted these two service providers to do inter-facility transfers to allow state ambulances to focus on emergencies. Effective from 1 June 2018, contracted private ambulance service providers will only respond to cases as and when called to do so by authorized personnel within the Department.

“Private service providers will only be utilized in the event when provincial state resources are over stretched. We do this because these are order based contracts and the contracts are nearing the end. We have also purchased and subsequently registered 40 new ambulances which will close the gap when we revised the scope of private ambulances,” said the MEC.

The department was placed under administration after sustained labour unrest, community protests and disruptions of services in the province facilities.

“We have learnt tough lessons but as a department we are always ready to respond to the commitment of the contract we have signed with the people of this province and country who put us in government to lead them in pursuit of the delivery of quality health care services,” said Masike.