The Committee met to adopt minutes and outstanding reports namely, the Committee report on the 2019/20 Annual Report of the Western Cape Department of Health, the Committee quarterly report (Jan - March 2021) and the Committee tracking document.
The Committee discussed its programme for the next term in light of the third wave. Members raised concerns around being manhandled when conducting oversight visits. Members discussed the importance of unannounced oversight visits
Draft Committee Report: Annual Report of the Western Cape Department of Health 2019/20
Ms R Windvogel (DA) sought clarity on the irregular expenditure in the annual report.
The Procedural Officer responded that the Minister and HOD discussed it in the previous sitting.
The Chairperson said to include the detailed information on the irregular expenditure, as reported on page 240 of the Annual Report, in the resolutions.
The report was adopted with amendments.
The Committee considered and adopted its minutes of 9 June, 26 May and 19 May 2021.
Committee quarterly report: January-March 2021
The report was considered and adopted without amendments.
Committee tracking document for 2021
The tracking document was adopted without amendments.
The programme needed to be revisited given the 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms L Botha (DA) requested that the visit to the Saldanha Bay area be moved to the second engagement per the programme. She sought clarity on the vaccination of vulnerable and disabled groups.
Ms N Bakubaku-Vos (ANC) said as part of the visits, the Committee Members was mishandled in Klapmuts and wanted to know if the Department was informed. The procedural officer should follow up and provide feedback. It is important to have unannounced visits on the programme. There is a challenge with the supply of vaccines in the Khayamandi Stellenbosch area. She wanted to know if Members can conduct unannounced visits based on complaints received.
Ms R Windvogel (ANC) was concerned about the registration in rural and poor communities and wanted to know what the Department’s strategy was to reach the poor and vulnerable. The formal structures should assist smaller organisations and churches to ensure a smooth registration process especially in rural communities. Can we list all the places that still need to be visited on the programme?
Ms A Bans (ANC) wanted to know if Members are allowed to interact with the patients and nurses on site when conducting oversight visits.
The Chairperson said that the Department is committed and doing everything possible to reach out but not all areas and community are the same. The supply of the vaccines is a concern at sites. The vaccination of disabled and vulnerable groups will be discussed jointly with the Department of Social Development through a collaborative approach. This Committee conducts announced and unannounced visits to see what transpires in the various facilities. It is difficult to do it within the current period and to minimise the risk pertaining to COVID-19. Members can, within their parliamentary privileges, act on the cases and complaints made by directing it to the relevant Minister and the Department if it is not possible to conduct a visit physically. With regard to general practice of oversight, Members should not interfere with operations at the facilities.
The procedural officer will forward the programme to the programming authority to populate the dates.
The Committee programme was adopted.
The Chairperson said the Minister responded in writing on the hospital board questions and on which boards Members will serve. The preferred facilities must be sent to the procedural officer and it will be communicated by the Provincial Minister of Health.
Ms Bakubaku-Vos requested to serve on the board of Stellenbosch.
Mr R Allen (DA) said he is appointed at Karl Bremer hospital but his request was to serve on the board of Alexandra hospital.
Ms Windvogel said the HOD must communicate to the different districts on the oversight visits then maybe Committee Members would not be mishandled during visits.
Ms Bakubaku-Vos felt unannounced visits gives a true reflection of the operations at the facilities by managers and personnel. There should be follow ups.
The Chairperson said visits are conducted accordingly - when an unannounced visit is conducted, there would not be notification. Thus, what you see is what you get. What is happening at a site will be observed and communicated accordingly.
The Procedural Officer informed Ms Windvogel that the Members should inform the HOD of the role of the Committee and if there are complaints to report them to the HOD.
The Chairperson referred to the local elections coming up. Complaints were received on Members attending facilities in political party attire under the screen of being a Member of the Standing Committee. Members should be responsible and professional at all times and represent the Committee and not political parties.
Ms Windvogel said a gentle reminder must be send to the Department on the mandate of the Committee when it comes to oversight visits.
Ms Bakubaku-Vos said letters must be sent to the Department and HOD on the mistreatment Members received and feedback must be provided.
Ms Bans said the Chairperson must address the complaints about Members. Members should also make use of their positions on the hospital boards to engage and inform on the matters at sites when conducting oversight visits.
The Chairperson thanked Members for a positive and constructive engagement and wished Members well.
The meeting was adjourned.
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