14 February 2012

South Africa: Some Hospital Labs Operational Again

Pretoria — The laboratories at public health facilities, which closed down last week, are now back in operation, Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development said on Tuesday.

Department spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said that the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) had started restoring services at laboratories with all facilities expected to be operational by the end of the week.

The NHLS closed down the laboratories last week due to non-payment for services rendered to the department.

The department has by last Friday paid more than R700 million to service providers needing urgent payment.

The Gauteng Provincial team will also this week initiate a process of negotiating with individual service providers around the payment plans towards redeeming debt owed to suppliers.

"We would like to reiterate that the department is fully aware and committed to meeting all its past and future obligations to its suppliers," Zwane said.

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