Public Health has only used 68% of its budget
SD. During the first nine months of the present year on average, the government executed 68% of the budget assigned to cover the expenses derived from public health, according to the functional classification.
If we were to start from a linear programming of expenditures, in which each month of the year the same amount would be spent, then what would be spent would be below 75% of the corresponding amount. In other words they are showing an under – expenditure of 6.6% equal to RD $3.5 billion.
This information is reflected in the report on budgetary execution which for the period January – September of this year was published by the Directorate General of the Budget (DIGIPRES).
It is noteworthy that the greatest under – execution in public expenditures on health is observed in the section “of public health services and health prevention,” where they have barely spent 33% of what was budgeted, which is 41.7% below the average for those nine months of the year.
This budget item was assigned RD $5.09 billion for the entire year. Nevertheless, they have only spent for this purpose RD $1.7 billion, which is RD$2.1 billion below the accumulated average until September.
So, if the government priorities are measured by what is spent and on what it is spent, then “preventive health” does not appear to be one of these priorities.
Neither does “hospital services” seem to be one of the principal priorities, an item in which they have only executed 65% (RD $3.3 billion), which reflects on the average an under – execution of RD $506 million.
The year 2014 has been a year marked by important epidemiological events both real and potential, besides the catastrophes that have exposed the weakness of the public health system in the country. There is the case of the global epidemic of Chikungunya, which as of August 2014 had affected nearly half a million Dominicans.
Also, in October of this year there was a human catastrophe in the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital in where, according to the reports, 11 children died, from causes such as a breakdown in the central oxygen system, infections contracted in the same hospital, or poor management of the human health personnel.
Likewise, the country is faced with the potential risk of a global Ebola epidemic.
For all of 2014, the public budget assigned is RD $52.8 billion for public health expenditures, according to the functional classification.
In this classification they only compute the spending which effectively has an impact on health.
As an institution, the Ministry of Public Health has only spent 68.2% of its yearly budget, which is RD $58.9 9 billion, which is 6.8% below average.
During the first three quarters, the executed public expenditure represented 66.2% of what had been programmed, which reflects a slowing down of its execution, remaining 5.7% below the accumulated monthly average as of September.
In the collection of tax income, the budgetary performance was better, although it seems to remain below average. According to the DIGIPRES, as of the ninth month, 73.8% of what had been programmed for the whole year had been collected, reaching RD $312.8 billion.
The Directorate General of Customs (DGA), is an institution that reflects the greatest slowdown, collecting 71.4% (RD $57.5 billion) of what was programmed for 2014.
In the meantime, the Directorate General of Internal Taxes (DGI I) managed to reach 73.2% (RD $337.4 billion). On the opposite side is the National Treasury, which has collected 93.5% of what had been programmed, (RD $19.0 billion), in just nine months.
An abrupt fall
For the period, the fall in the execution of capital expenditures the adjective “abrupt” can be added.
Of what had been programmed for the year (RD $97.7 billion), they have only executed 52.3%. In the sub – item, “constructions underway” the budgetary execution is just 19%.
At the same time, in “housing buildings and structures,” which is also part of capital expenditures, but the item of “gross formation of fixed capital,” the execution has broken the ceiling, and has continued up to the stratosphere.
As of September, its execution represents 642.9% of what was programmed. It is presumed that this line item is where school construction is registered. They have spent more than six times the original sum in just nine months.
The fiscal deficit
According to the information from DIGIPRES, the fiscal deficit as of September is RD$34.7 billion. If it is compared with the estimated GDP as of 22 August, this fiscal gap is equal to 1.3%. This percentage points to the government achieving by the close of the year a deficit less than that budgeted which was 2.8% of GDP. But the report on the execution reflects an expenditure that was not transparent of RD $2.5 billion which is the difference between income and expenditures (the fiscal deficit), on the one side, and the difference between the financial sources and applications on the other. With everything added up the real deficit points towards being RD $37.2 billion.
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