The Chairperson tabled the Department of Health’s Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, and highlighted that the Department had not addressed the issue of academic complexes. These complexes belonged to the Department and not provinces. Members observed that in the presentation of its Annual Report, the Department had alluded to the autonomy of provinces, a situation that was not acceptable as the Department had overall oversight over the provinces. Monitoring of Provinces was highlighted as an important issue that required attention by the Department. Members agreed that the Department’s issue of under spending was unacceptable and recommended that the Department should present a quarterly report as a way of monitoring this function. Members approved the Report with amendments.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) 2010
The Chairperson noted that the purpose of BRRR was to assess the Department’s delivery performance; its use of allocated resources and recommend on use of resources. The report highlighted the Department’s strategic priorities and measurable objectives; analysis of its prevailing strategic and operational plan; expenditure reports; analysis of annual report and financial statements; reports of committee on public accounts; consideration of other reports such as MGDs; reports of the Auditor-General and budget analysis.
The Chairperson mentioned the format in which the Committee’s recommendations should be reflected in the final Report. The recommendations should highlight the financial mismanagement within the Department and about the failure to provide information that had been requested prior to its presentation of the Annual Report.
The Chairperson observed that the Department had not addressed the issue of academic hospitals. Legally, academic institutions such as Charlotte Maxenge Academic Hospital belonged to the National Department and not the provinces. However, at the moment they were run by the provinces, which was in contravention with the existing law. Academic complexes should go to where they belonged and provinces must be in charge of primary health care. Currently provinces used the academic complexes as if they belonged to them yet they belonged to the National Department.
Ms E More (DA) commented that the issue of academic hospitals needed be addressed. She added that the issue of timeframes was important and the Department should adhere to set plans.
Mr D Kganare (Cope) referred to the hospital revitalisation grant and commented that a budget should be put in place to cater for maintenance.
Ms M Segale-Diswai (ANC) recommended that the revitalisation grant should be monitored on a quarterly basis and the Department should submit reports. In the 2009/10 financial year, the Department had under spent by R457m, a situation that was unacceptable. Managers should be financially astute to enable them to detect any financial mismanagement within their departments.
The Chairperson acknowledged that the Committee had not met with the Department regularly and that this should be rectified to enable effective monitoring.
Ms E More (DA) agreed with earlier comments that provinces should be in charge of primary health care and not academic institutions.
The Chairperson reiterated that provinces should concentrate on primary health care as this was where service delivery was entrenched.
Ms Segale-Diswai expressed concern about the autonomy of provinces, adding that the National Department seemed not to be in charge of provinces. The Department should be able to account for what happened in provinces.
Members agreed that the issue of monitoring was very important, that National Department should be able to monitor provinces. The issue of financial mismanagement would have been curbed had there been effective monitoring.
The Chairperson observed lack of consistency between the Department and provinces.
Members adopted the BRRR with changes.
The meeting adjourned.
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