The Committee met to complete the adoption of four of its oversight visit reports to Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Free State. Members made both minor and substantive corrections to the reports. On the agenda was also the adoption of minutes from November 2015 and from their most recent meeting that had taken place earlier in February.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone. She referred to the oversight visits that had been completed in the last year; and informed Members that the reports detailing those visits had been ready, but their adoption had been delayed due to the strike that had taken place at Parliament last year. She stressed that it was of great importance that the Committee focused on adopting the prepared drafts.
The Chairperson reminded the Members that they had a mammoth task ahead of them with the release of the White Paper on the National Health Insurance. The Committee's responsibility was to ensure that the Department of Health received the oversight reports, and implemented the recommendations that came emanated from them. All this was part of ensuring that the social conditions of South Africans were changed for the better.
The Chairperson asked each Member introducing themselves for the benefit of guests and new additions to the Portfolio Committee. Mr D Khosa (ANC) was one of the new members to join the Committee. He was also part of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education.
Two members had sent in their apologies, Ms D Senokoanyane (ANC) a new member who was attending the Appropriations and Finance lock out meeting. The other member was Mr Emam Shaik (NFP) who was attending the Police Committee meeting the same day.
Committee Report on oversight visit to Mpumalanga Province from the 22 to 23 September 2014
The Committee went through the draft report page by page.
Members pointed out a number of inconsistencies when it came to the use of upper and lower case, punctuation and spelling. Grammatical errors were also picked up, some sentences needed to be rewritten so that the reader would not be confused.
Dr James (DA) raised a concern with bullet number two under the possible solutions suggested by the province section. His main concern was that the way it had been written in the report was grammatically incorrect. The sentence read, “Proper capacitation of the Infrastructure Unit with built environment officials as well as health planners.” He argued that others reading the report would struggle to understand what this meant as it was a sort of jargon. He suggested that the sentence be replaced with, “Improve the capacity of the Infrastructure Unit and ensure there are sufficient built environment officials as well as health planners.”
Mr A Mahlalela (ANC) opposed this change, and pointed out that the wording had been taken straight from the province’s presentation. He further highlighted that this might change the meaning of what the province was trying to say.
Ms C Ndaba (ANC) agreed with Dr James.
Mr H Volmink (DA) suggested that instead of changing the whole sentence the Committee should try to insert the wording ‘as well as’ and take out ‘with’.
The Chairperson intervened and explained that she could not allow for the amendment to be made as the sentence had been taken directly from the presentation of the province. She further requested that for future oversight visits the delegation ask for clarification during the actual presentation.
The Chairperson added that these reports were followed up after adoption, and if the province sees that changes had been made to their original presentation it may cause problems as the officials could argue that this is not what they had written in their presentation.
Dr James replied that what the Chairperson had said was not fair as the report belonged to the Portfolio Committee and it should be able to write it as it best saw fit.
The Chairperson reiterated that the original material of provinces could not and would not be changed.
Dr James asked that under point 11 in the recommendations, the staff add that there were amny vacancies that need to be filled.
As the Committee reads through the bullets, the Chairperson alerted Dr James to the bullet on staff shortages.
Dr James stated that he would like this to be put first as it was a priority.
The draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to Mpumalanga Province from the 22 to 23 September 2014 was adopted with amendments by Mr Mahlalela and seconded by Ms Ndaba.
Committee Report on oversight visit to Limpopo Province from 21 to 24 July 2015
The Committee went over the draft report page by page.
Members pointed out incorrect use of punctuation on a number of the pages in the report. Unclear sentences were clarified, Members added information were it was needed to ensure that readers would have a clear of view of what was being said.
It was noted that provinces needed to be more specific when presenting to the Committee as the reports needed to accommodate those who had a basic to a very little understanding of the health industry.
Members also asked that redundancy be avoided, and technical terms also be double-checked to avoid misinterpretation of sentences.
The Chairperson pointed out that during the visit the delegation had noticed that medication was not well-kept under the norms and standards.
Dr P Maesela (ANC) further went on to explain to the young pharmacist the importance of separating expired and new medication, and labelling these.
These observations were added to the report.
The draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to Limpopo from 21 to 24 July 2015 was adopted with amendments by Dr James and seconded by Mr Mahlalela.
Committee Report on oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province from 15 to 18 September 2015
Members of the Committee considered the detailed report page by page.
Some inconsistencies regarding the use of upper and lower case were picked up and amended.
It was also agreed that abbreviations should be written out in full for the benefit of readers of the report. Some bullet points were highlighted as unclear; they were amended and made clear.
On page 9 of the draft a substantial amount of information concerning the construction of a new clinic was left out.
Mr Volmink formulated a new paragraph to include all the information that had been left out. The sentence that was suggested read as follows, “The clinic was being built adjacent to the existing clinic and the contractor was onsite. The Committee was taken on a tour of the construction site while committee members were encouraged by certain aspects of the development, concerns such as possible difficulty accessing the clinic once built were raised.”
Dr Maesela felt that the question of access would have been addressed by that time construction was complete.
Mr Volmink said it was important that everything that was observed be noted so that the Committee could refer back to the report to make sure that these items had been completed by the province.
The Chairperson agreed and accepted the amendment that had been submitted.
Dr Maesela reminded the Committee that it had praised the province on its EMS turnaround time. He requested that this be included in the report.
Mr Mahlalela recalled that the Committee had been concerned with the upkeep of the grounds at Kwazakhele.
The Chairperson also added that the medication was once again not properly labelled and the staff at the clinic was not adhering to the norms and standards of medication storage.
These observations were added to the report.
The draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province from 15 to 18 September 2015 was adopted with amendments by Dr Maesela and seconded by Mr Volmink.
Committee Report on oversight visit to the Free State on 19 June 2015
The Committee was presented with the draft report; which they examined page by page.
There was some minor word changes, grammatical errors and sentence reconstructions made to the report.
The Chairperson was impressed with the youth centre that the clinic had recently opened, and asked that space be made to include this achievement.
The draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to the Free State on 19 June 2015 was adopted with amendments by Ms Ndaba and seconded by Mr Volmink.
Committee Minutes dated 4 November 2015
Committee members went through the minutes page by page.
Minor spelling corrections were discovered and corrected.
The draft minutes with minor amendments were adopted by Dr Maesela and seconded by Mr Mahlalela.
Committee Minutes dated 18 February 2016
The draft minutes received by the Committee were checked page by page.
Members alerted the Secretary to incorrect party names next to members' names. Minor sentence reconstruction was needed in some places.
Mr Mahlalela drew the Committee’s attention to the concerns listed; some of the points had been incorrectly noted. He went onto explain that accruals could be carried over, the issue was with payment. Many of the accruals had still been outstanding by the third quarter, by end of the financial year payments still had not been made thus it was expected that by the start of the new financial year these would be paid by the first or second month. What was shocking was these were still outstanding.
Mr Mahlalela further pointed out that the department was asked to provide the Committee with a detailed analysis of the non-negotiable(s) for each province. This analysis would help the provinces with understanding why compliance with these non-negotiable(s) was important. The hope of the Committee was that provinces would eventually see these non-negotiable(s) not just as a compliance matter but see them more as a must-do to be able to give a service that is much needed.
Ms Ndaba also raised an important issue with regards to equipment that the Department of Health had claimed that it had bought, and delivered to the various hospitals. The Department had however, not been able to track whether these had been delivered to the hospitals. It was important for this to be included in the minutes.
The Chairperson agreed with her, and drew the attention of the staff on this matter.
The draft minutes dated 18 February 2016 were adopted with amendments by Mr Mahlalela and seconded by Mr Volmink.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to Mpumalanga Province 4 November 2015
- Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to Limpopo Province from 21 – 24 July 2015
- Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province from 15 -18 September 2015
- Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the oversight visit to the Free State on the 19 June 2016