Committee Programme & Budget

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18 June 2002
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

18 June 2002

Chairperson: Mr. V Ngculu

Documents Handed Out.
Committee Budget for 2003/2004 (Appendix 1)
Committee Programme [June-November 2002] (Appendix 2)

The Committee considered the its budget and programme for the rest of the year. It agreed to adopt the budget as amended and the programme which had with minor adjustments. The department's parliamentary liaison officer briefed the Committee on his role as parliamentary officer within the department.

The Chair invited members to give comments on the draft budget for 2003/4 and the proposed programme for the rest of 2002. He noted that members were at liberty to give input and effect amendments to it.

Budget 2003/4
- Certain members were concerned with the costs of conferences and seminars as reflected in the draft budget. Dr. Luthuli said that the budget must reflect actual expenditure by the committee. The Chair pointed out that last year's expenditure had been the guiding light in respect of expenses of the committee.
- Dr Jassat felt that the catering costs must be assessed on a costs-per-meeting basis. However there was general consensus that catering budget of R200,000 must not change - given the costs especially of public hearings.
- It was felt that R1 million was rather exorbitant for spending on conferences, especially when these are not being attended. Members agreed that the allocation for conferences and seminars must correspond with the actual attendance of them by members. The Chair pointed out that the figure of R1 million was incorrect and it was changed to the correct amount of R100,000.
- Overseas trips by members were considered significant. The chair informed members of the forthcoming conference in Barcelona. The department had agreed to sponsor one member of committee to attend - as accommodation was problematic in Barcelona. Ms Kalyan noted that she has a brochure of accommodation offered in Barcelona which would be helpful to those attending.
- On the oversight to provinces, it was agreed that the four provinces - Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and North West - were to be prioritised by the Committee. Consequently these are provinces which will be visited by the committee for now. Dr. Cachalia raised concern over the exclusion of Limpopo province and his concern was noted by the chair.
- Parliament required that advertisements for public hearings be placed in three newspapers at a cost of R15 000 per advertisement. The committee researcher, Lynette Sait, commented that these advertising costs justified the R250,000 set aside for public hearings.
- It was noted that visits by officials of foreign parliaments sometimes overlook the committee on health. The need exists for such visitors to be made aware of heath committee meetings during their visits. There would be a 19 July visit by Nigerian MPs. The Chair expressed the need to create relations with foreign parliaments.
- On research and capacity building, it was agreed that there is rigidity in the allocation. The chair felt that its critical that the committee is capacitated enough to deal with health policy issues. Ms Kalyan (DP) asked if capacity building included the training of members and courses on health issues. The chair said that it did and there was a need to build capacity to achieve the objectives of department. On the issue of research, the chair said the committee needs to solidify its relations with universities. This will assist members to understand scientific mechanisms employed in research and statistical data produced by these institutions. It was agreed that the health researcher within the ministry must be invited to the committee. The purpose of such input would be to give an update on research on cholera, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS etc.

Dr. Luthuli raised concern about the visits to Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga as these provinces had been visited in the past. No report had been furnished to the committee and hence no recommendations had been made. The chair replied that the purpose of the second visit was establish the state of health in these provinces and make recommendations to the department on implementation of legislation and policy.

The committee adopted the programme and the budget.

Parliamentary Liaison Officer
The chair gave the opportunity to Mr. J Kgatla to briefly explain his role within the ministry as the committee was concerned that there is no link between his office and the committee. Mr. Kgatla observed that he also shared this concern. He acknowledged his responsibility as parliamentary liaison officer and pledged to attend meetings of the committee. He explained that for some time he had been acting as departmental head as well as PLO. However he had kept abreast of business of the committee through contacts in the chairperson's office.

The chair thanked Mr. Kgatla for his explanation and declared the meeting adjourned.

Appendix 1:

1. Committee Meetings(catering)


2. Oversight to Provinces


3. Overseas trips


4. Conferences


5. Public Hear ing


6. International Attachments/visits by Foreign Parliaments


7. Research and Capacity building



R1 300 000

Appendix 2:

National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Health

Committee Programme June - November 2002

Legislation to be tabled:

1. Medical Schemes A/B

2 Medicines Control A/B

3 Occupational Mines and Safety A/B

4 Tobacco Products A/B

5 National Health Bill






25 June

Briefing on Social Health Insurance and Briefing

Department of Health and Taylor Committee - Alex van den Heever

To determine the strengths and weaknesses of the SHI proposal


Medicines Control A/B

Briefing by MCC and Department of Health

Discussion of Bill


Workshop on National Health Bill


Department of Health

Familiarise the Committee with the contents of the Bill

13 August



Occupational Mines Safety A/B

Department of Health and Mine workers Union


19-21 August


Site visits : E/Cape, Mpumalanga,


State of health and service delivery


Briefing by DOH and Lovelife


HIV/AIDS statistics

26 August

Deans of Medical Schools

Department of Health and the Deans

Update Briefing






3 September

Health Professions Council and DOH

DOH and Council

Update Briefing and Regulations on Foreign Doctors

10th September

Allied Health Professions Council & DOH

Council and DOH

What the structure is of the Council; structure of Professional Boards, Modalities under the Council; Strategic Issues

16th September

Briefing by the MRC

Department of Health & Medical Research Council

Briefing on their research thrust and HIV/AIDS Vaccine Initiative

23rd September

Briefing on District Health and Local Government

Department of Health and SALGA

Assess Progress and way forward

15 October

Tobacco Products Control A/B

Department of Health


21,22, 23 October

Site visit KZN, North West


State of Health and Service Delivery

29 October


Health Systems Trust

Assess progress i.t.o equity in health

4-6 November

Provincial Health departments

Health MEC's

Follow up of budget hearings to assess progress


Briefing by the Department of Health


Discussion of Annual report


Please note that overseas trips will take place during the August recess.

Programme as approved by the Portfolio Committee on 18 June 2002.



James Ngculu MP


Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health




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