Oliver oversees primary healthcare in the city, which includes its clinics, three tuberculosis hospitals and various healthcare programmes, such as the rollout of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-positive patients.
One looming problem is that of a depleted budget, which had seen payments totalling about R5- million to various local suppliers halted until the new budget came into effect in mid-April, he said.
“We have been liaising with our suppliers to pay them for February and March services with the new budget. We are hoping to have the new budget funds as soon as possible so we can pay,” he said.
There was also a shortage of space.
“Our clinics are bursting at the seams. Ideally we wanted to be in the community more prominently, so we are wanting to work towards more community rehabilitation centres, which we can also tie in with drug rehab, which are a bit lean, unfortunately,” Oliver said.
And while MEC Sicelo Gqobana and director- general Siva Pillay have made much about tackling corruption and fraud, Oliver said “tight controls” in the district meant the worst offences included human resources problems, such as officials reneging on their duties or not pitching up for work.