KZN Health increases budget for medical emergencies

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pietermaritzburg - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has increased its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) budget by 15 percent ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"An amount of R738 million has been budgeted for EMS, which represents an increase of 15 percent," said Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo on Thursday, while tabling his Budget Vote in the provincial legislature.

"This increase relates primarily to the preparation for the 2010 World Cup, including the provision of additional emergency vehicles, the training of additional personnel as well as improvements in the conditions of service," the MEC said.

He said this amount includes an additional R50 million for the allocation of the expanding the EMS in the preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The department has also budgeted R4 450 billion for provincial hospital services during this financial year.

The deputy minister said it would be used for the hospitalisation of patients requiring specialist medical care, long-term care, psychiatric care and those suffering from tuberculosis, including XDR and MDR tuberculosis.

He said the budget for the hospital services is an 8.94 percent increase on the 2008/09 adjusted budget allocation.

"This increase is required to provide for the XDR and MDR TB crisis for which R40 million from the province and R119 million from national have been earmarked for intervention programmes to fight MDR/XDR TB among others," Dr Dhlomo said.

It would also be used to improve the conditions of service, carry through costs of the Occupation Specific Dispensation for nurses as well as for the higher than expected inflationary rates on foodstuffs, medical supplies and medical services.