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HEALTH PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
21 September 1999
COMMITTEE PROGRAMME: DISCUSSION
The chairperson, Dr Nkomo, introduced the convenors of the sub-committees and their portfolios. A final programme will be adopted after the membership for these committees has been finalised.
The chairperson referred to a national summit to be held on 12 & 13 November with the Minister, provincial MECs, members of the relevant parliamentary committees as well as their provincial counterparts.
Dr Nkomo asked the convenors of the sub-committees to introduce their committees:
Dr Cwele (ANC) is the convenor of the sub-committee on Oversight and Monitoring. This sub-committee will monitor all health-related legislation that has been passed and implemented. This sub-committee will also review all policies relating to health. He reminded members about the international Aids conference during mid-July 2000 in Durban. Dr Cwele encouraged the committee to expose themselves to the development of telemedicines, especially in the Northern Cape, where the area is vast with poor transport infrastructure.
Dr Jassat has been selected as convenor of the STDs / AIDs subcommittee. He said that Aids issues should not be confined to the Department of Health but addressed also by other departments. He spoke of the possibility of setting up a standing committee to monitor Aids. Ms Kalyan (DP) suggested that MPs should strengthen existing Aids organisations, rather than form another structure.
Ms S Mnumzana is the convenor of the sub-committee on Sexual Reproductive Rights and Health. She said that their sub-committee has not yet met, but intends focusing on sexual reproductive rights of people. The Reproductive Rights Alliance has requested an oversight hearing next year on the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Ms F Marshoff is the convenor of Health Financing and Equity.
Ms M Njobe is the convenor of the Legislation subcommittee.
Mr M Ellis (DP) complained that the ANC had chosen all the convenors of these sub-committees, as well as the programmes. Dr Jassat suggested that a reference group be formed, which would enable the minority parties to participate with the majority party. Mr Cwele said that it is not the intention of the ANC to exclude any party.
Mr Ellis requested that the Minister give a briefing on intellectual property rights and drugs given the recent announcement in the press.
The meeting was concluded.
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