The National Treasury’s budget documentation indicates that government will allocate at least R809.4 billion to health to support the provision of and equitable access to healthcare services over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period of three years.
Some R259.2 billion has been allocated to the department for the coming financial year.
According to the documentation, the allocation will allow the health sector to focus on addressing the accumulated backlog in core health services.
Backlogs in the sector include critical services such as surgery, oncology, antiretroviral treatments and Tuberculosis (TB) screening and treatment
“The 2023 budget includes additional funding to the health function of R7.5 billion in 2023/24, R7.8 billion in 2024/25 and R8.1 billion in 2025/26.
“These amounts will be channelled through the provincial equitable share to help address service backlogs and alleviate critical funding pressures in healthcare personnel [and] potentially also to retain some of the additional staff recruited during the pandemic, medicine, laboratory services, medical supplies and other key goods and services,” the department said.
Treasury will also direct some funding towards the National Health Insurance and healthcare services at South Africa’s border posts.
“Funds totalling R349.7 million in 2023/24, R432.3 million in 2024/25 and R568.6 million in 2025/26 are allocated to the National Health Insurance Indirect Grant to enable construction of the Limpopo Central Hospital in Polokwane.
“With effect from 1 April 2023, the responsibility to provide port health services will be shifted from the Department of Health to the Border Management Authority. Accordingly, R512 million is shifted over the MTEF period from the Department of Health to the Department of Home Affairs, which will facilitate the transfer of the funds to the authority,” the department said.
The National Treasury said spending in areas such as service delivery, transport, housing as well as spatial transformation and urban development is estimated to come in at some R825.8 billion over the next three years or the MTEF period.
The department explained that because these services are mainly provided by municipalities, at least 77% of this predicted expenditure will be in the form of transfers and subsidies.
“The local government equitable share is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 9.3%, from R83.7 billion in 2022/23 to R109.4 billion in 2025/26, mainly to provide for above-inflation escalation costs in bulk electricity and water supply. The equitable share includes allocations for the operational and maintenance costs associated with the provision of free basic services,” National Treasury said.
The department added that additional allocations have been made for bulk infrastructure “that will improve access to services through conditional grants in human settlements and water and sanitation”.
“These include an additional R2.2 billion for the urban settlements development grant for construction of the Lufhereng housing project in the City of Johannesburg metro and the Avoca Node development in the eThekwini metro.
“The regional bulk infrastructure grant in the Department of Water and Sanitation receives an additional R4.2 billion over the medium term for the implementation of a water security programme in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and other water and sanitation supply programmes in other municipalities,” the Treasury said.
Source: South African Government News Agency