HOSPITAL GAUTENG HOSPITAL

The Gauteng Department of Health said out of 360 clinics only 83 are affected including 32 hospitals. Image: Facebook

‘Gauteng phone lines at public hospitals down due to unpaid bills’ – DA

The Department said normal Telkom lines were currently off in Gauteng due to payment queries lodged by the service provider.

HOSPITAL GAUTENG HOSPITAL

The Gauteng Department of Health said out of 360 clinics only 83 are affected including 32 hospitals. Image: Facebook

A number of patients in Gauteng have been unable to reach health facilities in the province after telephone lines in several hospitals and clinics were not working due to unpaid bills.

This according to DA Health spokesperson Jack Bloom, who said he was concerned about the impact on patients and their families who have been unable to reach hospitals for appointments, inquiries or updates.

“Thousands of patients and anxious relatives have been unable to get hold of Gauteng hospitals. The DA calls on the Gauteng Health Department to pay the telephone bills as soon as possible,” he said.

Bloom said Charlotte Maxeke, Steve Biko Academic, Thelle Mogoerane, Kopanong and Weskoppies are some of the affected hospitals.

The Gauteng Health Department revealed on Monday that normal Telkom lines were currently off due to payment queries lodged on the invoices submitted by the service provider. 

A total of 83 clinics and 32 hospitals affected

Out of over 360 clinics only 83 are affected including 32 hospitals. 

“We unfortunately have had several discrepancies where Telkom would send invoices which have descriptions of facilities that do not belong to GDoH which made it impossible to promptly settle those invoices.

The service provider was requested to make corrections. Already R4 million was paid on Monday, 19 February 2024 with another R3.4 million being released today (Monday, 26 February 2024). 

There is an outstanding amount that is currently being verified so that it can be settled as soon as the invoices are reconciled,” the department said. 

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Health Department engaging with Telkom

The health department said it was continuing to engage with Telkom. 

“The GDoH continues to engage with Telkom to find an amicable way of attending to the disputes without impacting on service delivery, especially given that the Department has indicated that it intends to honour its commitments where invoices are not in question. 

As part of the long-term solution, the Department is currently in the process of migrating its facilities to the Gauteng Provincial Voice Network system operated by the eGovernment Department which will drastically reduce the costs of communication within institutions and externally.

Already 130 sites have been migrated to the new system,” they said. 

The public is urged to use the alternative contact lists published on the GDoH’s webpage.

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