Health Portfolio Committee Programme

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07 July 2009
Chairperson: Dr B Goqwana (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered and adopted the minutes dated 28 May 2009 without amendments.
In addition, Members discussed the minutes for the meeting which took place on the 25 June 2009. Members were concerned by the lack of detail in the report. They would have preferred to have the exact meeting recorded and any clarifications which were made regarding the concerns raised, so that they could know for sure that their concerns were taken into account. The Committee also considered its programme for the second term and discussed the conditions in public hospitals.

Meeting report

Adoption of Committee Minutes
The Chairperson asked Members if the draft minutes of the meeting held on the 28 May 2009 was a true reflection of what happened at the meeting or if there were any corrections that they wished to make to the document.

Members unanimously agreed that the minutes were an accurate account of the proceedings and adopted the minutes without any amendments.

The Chairperson moved on to the draft minutes of the meeting held on the 25 June 2009. He asked whether Members had any concerns regarding the document.

Ms M Dube (ANC) noted that the report merely stated that previous concerns which were raised were clarified. This statement on its own was too vague and needed to be expanded. The report should specifically state what the actual concerns were.

Ms Vuyokazi Majalamba, Committee Secretary, explained that she had compiled the report in that manner because there would because the Committee would tackle the issues in greater detail in upcoming meetings. 

A Member advised that each meeting should be recorded in detail as in each meeting different concerns were raised which needed to be addressed.

Ms Majalamba said that the workshops, which all Members of Parliament would be attending, would direct them on how to go about preparing reports as different Committees went about it in different ways. This would help a great deal because then they would both have agreed on a specific method.

Miscellaneous Matters

Mr M Waters (DA) asked whether there was any feedback relating to the number of stillborn babies in public hospitals as this was not a matter which could be put on hold. He noted that there were many excuses advanced regarding the causes of so many stillborn babies. However, this was a matter of great concern especially if the high number was caused by unhygienic environments and no other reason.

The Chairperson agreed that this was a matter which needed immediate attention and that each province should be taken into account.

Mr M Hoosen (ID) asked whether the list of hospitals in each province was finalised and if Members could add to that list.

The Chairperson confirmed that the list was not finalised and that any input from Members would be taken into consideration. He added that the Committee Secretary was working on the programme which would allow Members to visit hospitals in each province so that they could see the conditions which they were working under.

Ms C Dudley (ACDP) cautioned that if hospital staff were told that Members would be visiting, they would take precautions in the form of making sure that the hospital was cleaned up and that things were running smoothly which would may not be the case on a daily basis. Members would then leave satisfied with what they saw instead of having seen things for how they really were.

Members agreed with this observation and resolved that the issue needed to be discussed further.

Consideration of Committee Programme

The Chairperson asked whether Members agreed with the dates that were proposed for committee meetings.

The Secretary clarified that those dates were not finalised as the workshops, which Members would be attending, would also cause further changes in the programme. Members would be guided and directed in the workshops on how to strategise and plan their respective calendars in accordance with a generally agreed upon method instead of having different Committees going about it differently. All Members would receive advance notice of changes that would take place.

Members agreed that it was important to communicate with one another using an effective method especially due to the many changes which were taking place. This would allow the Committee to work together in an efficient way.

Ms Luthuli (ANC) noted that the current method of communication within the Committee was effective.

Other Members agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.


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