Policy debate on the Health Budget Vote Speech of Honourable Dr A Motsoaledi, MP, Minister of Health, delivered to the NCOP
7 Jul 2009
Honourable members of the house
Ladies and gentlemen
I am presenting this budget under a background of very serious challenges in healthcare in our country and around the world, namely:
* H1N1 influenza
* the global financial crisis.
During economic crises, social outcomes are usually the first to suffer and least to recover health is usually in the forefront of social outcomes to suffer, because countries may be tempted to cut on social spending.
Let me start this presentation by reminding this house what his Excellency President Jacob Zuma said about health during the State of the Nation Address, “Fellow South Africans, we are seriously concerned about the degeneration of the quality of healthcare, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease, in the past decade and a half.”
This statement by the President honourable chairperson is a daring call to the Minister and the MECs in the provinces, to put their heads together to deal decisively with this state of affairs.
I am therefore calling over my colleagues, the MECs in the provinces, to join me in dealing with these issues, without fear of favour. In order to make a good start, we need to accept and acknowledge upfront that among a myriad of factors, the following factors also played a very significant role and need to be looked into very very carefully:
* lack of managerial skills within health institutions
* failure to cut on identified deficiencies
* delayed response to quality improvement requirements
* unsatisfactory maintenance and repair services
* poor technological management
* poor supply chain management
* inability of individuals to take responsibility for their actions
* poor disciplinary procedures and corruption
* significant problems in clinical areas related to training and poor attitude of staff
* inadequate staffing levels in all areas.
I call upon provinces to note that while some of the crises need systemic approach, others are quite urgent and can be solved here and there, i.e. important solution of the site of the problem area. Let me take this opportunity to commend Gauteng province for their launch of operation kuyasheshwa.
I wish to see such operations all over the provinces and not just Gauteng. I wish to share with the house, our ten point plan, which has translated into our programme of action:
* provision of strategic leadership and creation of a social compact for better health outcomes
* implementation of a National Health Insurance (NHI)
* accelerated implementation of the HIV and AIDS plan and increased focus on tuberculosis (TB) and other communicable diseases
* overhauling the healthcare system and improve its management
* improved human resource planning, development and management
* improving the quality of the health services
* revitalisation of health infrastructure
* mass mobilisation for better health for the population
* review of drug policy
* strengthen research and development
Let me, honourable chairperson, point to you that the ten point plan, we will pay keen interest to the following four issues:
* financial management
* infrastructure/engineering services
* human resource issues
* information and communications technology (ICT)
These four are the main causes of our failures within the public health system.
Lastly, let me conclude by appraising this house, about the contemporary issues pertaining to the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD).
I thank you
Issued by: Department of Health
7 Jul 2009
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