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'GP health department functioning despite financial woes'

Furniture and other equipment were seized from the department in order to pay for a medical negligence claim.

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa says because it's public knowledge that the department is going through financial difficulties, the fact that the sheriff went to her offices to seize furniture should not come as a surprise.

Ramokgopa, however, says the department is fully functional.

The furniture and other equipment were seized in order to pay for a medical negligence claim in which a child suffered brain damage when she was born at the Pholosong Hospital in December 2009.

Ramokgopa says financial problems at the Gauteng Health Department are a serious matter.

But she also says the department is functioning and that there are plans in place from Premier David Makhura’s office to help.

“What we’re protecting is patient services to the best of our ability and there’s a process that the premier also announced of supporting the department and other services.”

The department has the second highest medical claims in the country after the Eastern Cape.

It has applied to have the Constitutional Court change the law to allow it to pay medical negligence victims with installments or as and when they need medical attention.