According to the National Health Laboratory Service’s (NHLS) Annual Report, irregular expenditure increased by R990m in just one year, says Democratic Alliance shadow minister of health Patricia Kopane. Even more shocking, Kopane says, is the fact that its deficit increased by R2.2bn over the same period, from a surplus of R273m the previous year, to a R1.9bn deficit.
Kopane says the DA will write to the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to demand that he provide a detailed plan of action to address the serious financial problems at the NHLS as a matter of urgency as these revelations could have devastating consequences for people’s lives.
Kopane says: “Motsoaledi must also provide this plan of action in no less than one month as this gross mismanagement of the NHLS’s finances no puts the lives of the more than 80% of South Africans who rely on it to diagnose HIV/Aids, malaria, cancer and tuberculosis (TB). A failure to produce this plan would be a damning indictment on Minister Motsoaledi for neglecting this looming crisis.
“Included in the irregular expenditure are the following shocking figures: R575m paid despite the contracts expiring; and R195m spent on payments to suppliers with no contracts in place at all.
“The NHLS is obviously in serious financial trouble and questions must be also be asked about it financial management and how it got to such serious levels in just one year.
“The NHLS plays a vital role in the South African public health through epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak response activities. The majority of our people rely on the NHLS to provide them with pathology services in order to determine whether or not they have life-threatening and possibly contagious diseases.
“The DA will not sit back and watch as the NHLS is run to the ground and threatens the lives of our people who have no other alternative to turn to.”DA material