Gauteng health ordered to pay Allmed Healthcare R51-million

A prominent healthcare agency, Allmed Healthcare Professionals, has hauled the Gauteng department of health to the Joburg High Court, demanding payment of R54-million due to it.

The company is owed the amount for providing nursing services to the province’s hospitals – a service that the province failed to pay for.

Established in 1999, Allmed offers a complete range of specialist medical personnel solutions for a myriad of medical facilities.

Its nursing unit is a niche-focused business. It specialises in the provision of all categories of nurses from state and private hospitals to frail care homes.

In a recent judgment handed down by acting judge Johannes Moorcroft, the department was ordered to pay the health facility an amount of more than R51-million.

The health company took the Gauteng health department, Gauteng government and the MEC for health to court after it was not paid for services rendered.

“The first respondent is directed and ordered to make payment to the applicant in the amount of R51 415 098.98 together with interest thereon at the rate of 10.5% per annum a tempore morae (a date on which the payment is due) calculated from 27 January 2023 to date of payment,” said Moorcroft in his judgment. The department was also ordered to pay costs of the application.

The company said it entered into a service level agreement with the department in March 2021 for the appointment and provision of the supply of nursing personnel at a number of provincial hospitals.

The company, which provides permanent, contract and temporary staffing, said it recruited nurses from its own database, and additional nurses in order to perform its obligations.

It said the services were provided during the period June 2021 to December 18, 2022.

It further argued that it was obliged to pay the salaries of these nurses irrespective of whether payment was received from the department as the nurses were in a contractual relationship with it and not with the department.

The specialist medical entity further said the number of nurses required increased over time and more than a thousand professional nurses, enrolled nurses, and enrolled nursing assistants were required to fulfil the obligations under the agreement.

The dispute between the department and the company arose in February when the department informed Allmed it was busy with internal processes to finalise the payment but no sum of money was paid to the business.

After several attempts to get the money owed to it, the company approached the high court on an urgent basis, seeking payment.

According to Allmed, the department has been aware of the claim of the money owed to it and the company said the client did not dispute liability.

The company said the commercial urgency arose from the fact that the debt attracted interest of more than R800 000 per month and that it had to retrench the nursing staff because it was not being paid.

Moorcroft this week ordered the department to pay the company for the services it rendered.

Gauteng health spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said: “The Gauteng Department of Health has noted the judgement. We have no intention to oppose the ruling. The Department has never had issues with paying. What was in question was the verification of the invoice against the hours worked and the professionals that were deployed. As far as the issue of nurse shortage is concerned this remains a global challenge especially in the specialist areas.”

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