The Standing Committee on Appropriations and Portfolio Committee on Health met to consider its Draft Report on Health Sector meetings held from 22 – 24 March 2017. During the meetings, both Committees interacted with the National Department of Health on the need for improved coordination and alignment between the national and provincial Departments of Health to ensure value for money, efficient planning and resource allocation. The Draft Report captured interactions between the Committees and the various provincial departments.
Draft Report of Standing Committee on Appropriations and Portfolio Committee on Health on Health Sector Meetings held 22 – 24 March 2017 was adopted with amendments. The Report would now be tabled in the National Assembly. The Committees would meet at a later date to adopt the three sets of minutes arising from the three meetings of the Committees.
Consideration of Committee Draft Report on Health Sector Meetings held 22 - 24 March 2017
Chairperson Phosa outlined the Draft Report was a product of joint meetings between the Standing Committee on Appropriations and Portfolio Committee on Health from 22 – 24 March 2017. Members now had the opportunity to go through the Report and revise it before it was adopted and sent to the National Assembly. She thanked every Member for their commitment in ensuring the hearings were successful. She reminded Members of the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) which was a health system that worked for everyone comprising of an appropriate balance between preventive, health promotion and curative services that were affordable and accessible to all.
In keeping with this vision, the Committees, over the three days engaged with all nine provincial departments of health, National Department of Health, the Financial and Fiscal Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General of SA. Interactions with each of these stakeholders enriched the Committee. The Draft Report of the joint Committees was compiled by the researchers and captured the vigorous engagement which took place between the Committees and stakeholders over the three days. The Report focused on key issues emerging from the meetings. The Committees were now only able to meet and consider the Report.
The Committees proceeded to consider the Draft Report page by page.
Chairperson Dunjwa thought it was important to state the Portfolio Committee on Health now had three new Members – these Members were not present at the time of the March 2017 hearings. These Members were Ms P Kopane (DA), Mr T Nkonzo (ANC) and Ms R Adams (ANC). The Draft Report was circulated to these Members to ensure they were aware of what transpire during the March hearings.
Members raised minor grammatical amendments required to be made to the Draft Report.
Ms D Senokoanyane (ANC) said paragraph 2.1 should include the phrase ‘long and healthy life’.
Mr B Topham (DA) was not sure of what ‘validation’ meant in paragraph 2.4 and suggested the sentence read ‘for full reasons and validations of the information’ instead.
Mr T Nkonzo (ANC) said there was some repetition in paragraph 2.4 and suggested the first ‘high’ be removed.
Ms Senokoanyane thought inclusion of ‘in the new financial year’ would contextualise the accruals.
Ms S Thembekwayo (EFF) said there must be a consistency throughout the entire Report with the use of the term ‘provincial departments of health’.
Ms M Manana (ANC) noted the last sentence of paragraph 2.7 use the word ‘medicinal’ instead of ‘medical’.
Dr P Maesela (ANC) said paragraph 2.8 should include ‘demand management and procurement planning’.
Rafts of further grammatical amendments were made by the Committees.
Dr Maesela said there should be a balance in the department’s building and development of facilities - paragraph 2.11 should capture this.
Members deliberated on whether ‘rural areas’ or ‘rural provinces’ ought to be used in paragraph 2.14.
Chairperson Dunjwa felt the debate on the use of either of the terms was unnecessary.
Mr Nkonzo preferred the term ‘rural areas’.
Dr Maesela said rural areas were present in all provinces.
Ms Thembekwayo preferred the term ‘rural provinces’.
Chairperson Phosa suggested Members voted on which term to use.
Mr Topham accepted either of the terms but preferred ‘rural areas’.
Chairperson Dunjwa was not certain of why the matter was being debated.
Chairperson Phosa said the term ‘rural areas’ would be used. She asked the Committee to move on from discussing the matter.
Mr Topham asked for clarity on the retention of Cuban doctors in paragraph 2.16.
Chairperson Phosa confirmed the figure contained in the Report.
Moving to recommendations of the Draft Report, all recommendations were accepted except for recommendation 3.1.1 which was removed from the Report.
Mr Nkonzo felt recommendation 3.1.6 should be elaborated on - the point was made that the Report stress the national Department of Health attends to having its own pharmaceutical company that also manufactured generics.
Further grammatical amendments were made to recommendations of the Draft Report.
Mr Topham noticed there were some details which were omitted from the Report.
Chairperson Phosa explained the information would be added as per Mr Topham’s request.
The Draft Report of Standing Committee on Appropriations and Portfolio Committee on Health on Health Sector Meetings held 22 – 24 March 2017, was adopted with amendments.
Chairperson Phosa asked that Members be given the three sets of minutes for the meetings over the three days. Once Members perused the minutes, the Committees could jointly meet to adopt the minutes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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