Budget Vote Speech by the Honourable Member of the Executive Council for Health, Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha (MPL), Provincial Legislature, Northern Cape Province
25 Jun 2009
Honorable speaker Mr Goolam Arkharwaray
Honorable Premier Ms Hazel Jenkins
Chairperson of the ANC MEC John Block
Members of the Executive Council
Honorable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Representatives of Institutions of State
Political and civic leaders
Our social partners in NGO’s and labour
Medical and Allied Professions
Officials of state departments
Dignitaries and guests in the gallery
Ladies and gentlemen
Honourable speaker, I have the task of presenting the budget of the Department of Health to this house and feel gracious through those present today, and thousands others whose lingering expectations make it such a privilege to serve in the capacities that we serve as public representatives and public servants alike.
We live in an extra ordinary epoch that compels us to shake off the slumber occasioned by routine, inordinate bureaucracy and an unquestionable acceptance of adverse conditions portrayed as a biblical given reality. We must take action for change and work hard to succeed!
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation whilst addressing the United Nations (UN)’s Secretary Generals Forum on the 15 June 2009 in reference to the current global economic crisis stated:
“The crises we face are global, but the consequences are not evenly felt. We need to do more for vulnerable groups. We urgently need to strengthen health systems. And we need to increase impact and efficiency through smart and strategic partners.
If we do not maintain the momentum in these areas, keep our promises, and strive to reach our goals, a bad situation is certain to get worse under the pressure of these crises. Already, we are seeing the trends. More people will sink into poverty, health status will worsen, life expectancy will shrink, and health systems will be over burdened to the breaking point.
Because of the economic downturn, people in affluent societies are losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings, and this is tragic. In developing countries, they will lose their lives.”
Kode kubeninina sikhala sinxakama sinqanda. Kode kubeninina abantu besifa ngolunya ngoluhlobo. Kunini singcwaba, kunini silila siziphethe ngeenkophe. Ngathi ithuba lokubambisana lifikile. Le ayisafuni Rhulumente ifuna kuqulwe kuliwe luluntu jikelele. Baphina abantu! Safa isizwe zizandawana namaxhwili, safa isizwe, lafa uluntu, bafaabantu, bafa kubukelwe, bafa simangalisiwe bafa sithe nkamalala.
Naxa kunjalo ke akulahlwa mbeleko ngakufelwa. Utsho no S E K Mqhayi “Kufo’mnye kakade, mini kwakhiw’omnye, kukhanza mnye zekuphile abanye.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we face the enormity of the days that lie before us in the warm courage of discernable political commitment, with the clear consciousness of seeking new and precious solutions, simultaneously advancing the tested ideas on which is premised our previous successes. We do so with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by all alike.
We together aim at the assurance of a rounded, a positive solution to the challenges of the health system in our country, this is the commitment we once more make today in this August House. We do not distrust the future, that it will be better because we shall work to make it better.
In your need you have registered a mandate that you want direct, vigorous action. You have asked for discipline and direction under our leadership, to bring hope to the sick and the poor, we believe that together we can build a better society.
The state of health of the nation is now a well diagnosed illness which we shall not tabulate in detail; it also reflects the state of social imbalance in our society.
The African National Congress (ANC) itself unprovoked came to the conclusion that health must be part of the five key priorities of the next five years of governance. This was a conclusion that was reached after unsparing diagnoses involving key and essential role players in the sector.
It is common cause to all that we have a growing burden of disease, increasing pressure on our human and capital resources, a shortage of critical skills and expertise within a very competitive global market which is balanced against the developing world.
But it is not all doom and glooms, rectification efforts, within the current environment, that have been in the pipeline to turn around the health system are bearing fruit. Our province has been lauded for the work we are doing to revitalize especially Primary Health Care services and increasing access thus making enormous progress towards the constitutional imperative of universal access to health care.
We have also constructed numerous facilities, benefited many poor students with bursaries and acquired improved health technology in past few years.
Our country is currently experiencing the woes of the global economic down turn, the occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion.
Former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru of India once stated “Peace has been said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.”
It is as true of today’s world as we experience the debilitating effects of the economic down turn on the delivery of health care services. This does not require us to lower the bar in terms of the standards we have set, it only requires of us to work smartly. However it does impact on us necessitating the application of creative solutions within a landscape of increasing costs for delivering health services.
Honourable speaker, in our quest to optimise the delivery of quality health services we have reviewed the departmental structure to meet the Programme of Action of government. We have already started to capitalise this new structure.
We believe that during this period of economic decline this structure has the prospect of creating jobs and alleviating the plight of many households who stare the grim prospect of the decreasing quality of livelihood.
Yes, the internal environment of the department has to continually be changed in order to adapt to the needs of the times.
The department will also have reviewed its Recruitment and Retention Strategy by October this year so that we have a seamless progression towards reducing our vacancy rate and populating the new structure in a way that signals advancement of our skills and expertise repository.
Over the next three years, the department will spend R185 million on bursaries for matriculants, unemployed youth and serving employees. This investment will ensure that the quest for the production of appropriately qualified health professionals and workers is realised.
We have seven students on the Cuban Medicine programme who will be returning to conclude their final year of study this year. Furthermore, 14 students doing the National Diploma in Radiography are due to complete and enter the service next year, 74 students are also completing their Nursing Diploma.
In total we have 361 students studying in the Medical and Allied Sciences.
The College is already putting in place plans for a new intake of 60 students for the four-year course within the current financial year.
The department will appoint the learner basic pharmacists who completed their programme successfully. All our pharmacies are being upgraded to comply with the requirements of the pharmacy council as some operate on the basis of a temporary license. The department is also looking at the possibility of establishing secondary depots in the districts.
Refrigerated vehicles will be acquired for the pharmaceuticals within the current medium term; this will improve stock availability in health facilities and ensure cool storage during the transportation of drugs.
The Occupation Specific Dispensation for the Doctors, Pharmacists and Emergency Medical Services Personnel will be implemented this year. This is part of our continued quest to ensure that we create quality jobs in the health sector and make it attractive to young people to enter these essential professions.
Ladies and gentlemen, in an extra ordinary media briefing that took place yesterday 24 June 2009, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi demonstrated government’s commitment to bring to finality the anxiety and frenzy about the salaries of health professionals. We believe his pronouncements will assist to bring the contending parties to a lasting solution.
Amongst the Achilles heels of the department over the years has been the question of administrative policies which in many respects are now in place. We will also table the Provincial Health Bill during the current financial year.
The concept of a Primary Health Care driven model requires strong community participation aspect and hence we also make the call to our communities today, that they should be agents for functional hospital boards and clinic committees. In this new term of governance we will also reconstitute the provincial AIDS council.
These are legislated structures of community involvement which provide the unique opportunity for communities to be agents of a transformed health system, simultaneously expanding the frontiers of participatory democracy and realising the dream “The People Shall Govern.”
Honourable Speaker, it is perhaps appropriate to quote our President Jacob Zuma when he stated “we are seriously concerned about the deterioration of health care. Working together let us do more to promote quality health care, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.”
Therefore, key amongst the issues that we want to highlight are the matters regarding the core business of the department pertaining to the health related Millennium Development Goals that we have to deliver on. These are maternal health, child health, HIV and AIDS and poverty.
In pursuing our approach to the health system as defined by these the areas of focus, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Manifesto of the ruling party and other plans, we as a department have decided that the following command our immediate attention:
- within this financial year we shall officially launch the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Acceleration Plan, this will help us to achieve the Health millennium development goals which include maternal mortality, infant mortality and combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and TB amongst others.
Ladies and gentlemen, in addition we will endeavour to improve health provision and systems without compromising the Quality of Care and Services due to the public. This will be achieved through:
- accelerating results towards the achievement of the MDG’s
- implementation of the government programme of Action
- boosting the morale of our staff
- strengthening partnerships
- deepening community participation and
- not limiting our understanding to austerity measures.
Simultaneously, we are committed to align all our plans to the governments Ten Point Plan on health, so that we respond in concrete ways to the government’s Programme of Action.
Our priorities are now fully aligned to the objective of revitalising the entire health system as per the Ten Point Plan, which amongst others is about improving the quality of health services, overhauling the health care system and improving its management.
We are conscious of the need to meet our obligations towards the establishment of a healthy society notwithstanding the current economic downturn. This government of the ANC has long shared the emerging perspective of health being worthy pursuit in it.
The Secretary–General of the United Nations Ban Ki–moon addressing his forum on global health on the 15 June 2009 remarked: “We can cut back on health expenditures and incur massive losses in lives and fundamental capacity for growth. Or we can invest in health and spare both economies and people the high cost of inaction. The cost of cutting back is just unthinkable.
We know from previous economic crises that social outcomes are the first to suffer and the last to recover, even then, the statistics often obscure the day to day struggles of millions of women, men and children in the poorest countries.”
Indeed functioning, affordable and accessible health systems that work for the most vulnerable continue to remain a challenge.
The Maternal, Child and Women’s Health Programme is one of our important programmes in health as it targets segments of the population that are so central to the health of our nation.
We intend to maintain immunisation coverage of children less than one year old, that is above 97% and reduce the incidence of severe malnutrition to children less than five years old to 0,5%, through the provision of supplements at our health facilities. Child mortality is a health inequity that mostly affects poor households whose livelihood is aggravated by poverty.
The department is taking special measures to reduce maternal deaths, through a thorough implementation of existing protocols, all service delivery plans in the department will speak to how they will reduce maternal deaths, and we will also deliver on the provision of necessary health technology. The structure for Maternal Child and Women’s Health unit shall be fully capacitated and doctor’s visits to facilities in districts shall be increased.
To this effect we have also completed the construction of a maternity unit at Groblershoop clinic at an estimate cost of R1,9 million. This was necessitated by the distance that expectant mothers had to travel to the nearest health site providing a service to deliver babies.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are implementing a multi sectoral approach to the comprehensive management of HIV and AIDS, in line with the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV and AIDS and STI’s 2007 to 2011 and the government’s partnership against AIDS programme. An amount of R145 million will be spent on this initiative during the 2009/10 financial period, and R525 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
In the traditions and lessons of our own struggle for freedom we are alive to the fact that through their own conscious action the people must be the creators of their own destiny. Thus they are central to improving their own health status consequently markedly improving the conditions for sustainable communities.
In the preceding financial year we also finalised the Provincial Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS in November. Our focus remains on the key four areas of prevention, treatment, care and support. We must create a societal momentum to stem the HIV prevalence rate so that we can reduce new infections significantly.
Our prevention programmes include Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission which is critical for child health, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, condom distribution and life skills training. The management and treatment of STIs remains important.
Tomorrow, 26 June 2009 the department will launch a High Transmission Area site in Kakamas, improving our HIV prevention interventions. Furthermore by the end of the current financial year we would have launched three additional such sites in the province.
We shall continue to thrive in the implementation of our care and support programmes, continually balancing on the shoulders of our valued partners, mutually enhancing each other.
Hence the establishment and running of support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS is driven largely through partnership with National Association of People with Disability (NAPWA) and is supported for training by the twinning programme the department has with National Alliance of State and Territorial Aids Directors (NASTAD).
I would like to join our Premier Ms Hazel Jenkins in lauding the exemplary efforts of the Home and Community Based Care workers, including the many NGO’s who make it possible for our tentacles to reach the corners of each house where we are required to make a difference.
Since 2005 we have experienced a 2.4% decline in the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS in terms of the Antenatal Survey, this is a potential sign of stabilisation. The HIV rate in the province is now about 16,1%. However we wish to caution that it does not mean we are safe yet, especially when our syphilis rate remains an area of concern in the province.
There are currently 15 accredited Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment service points with 11 outreach points. Our intention is to radically increase access to treatment for eligible patients by accrediting 10 more sites during the current financial year and increasing the number of patients from 14 100 to 18 000, a budget of R50 million has been set aside for this objective.
We will also continue with our bi-monthly nutritional support programme to qualifying patients and this is more pivotal in the context of the skyrocketing food prices that some of the chronically ill and poor cannot meet.
Honourable speaker, TB remains a huge problem in the Northern Cape and we are now paying more attention to strategies to turn the situation around. The escalating incidence of MDR TB in the province especially the Siyanda district increases the bed occupancy rate in our facilities putting a strain on government resources.
The shortage of beds contributes greatly to the increase in defaulter rates and deaths in the Namakwa district, as people run away from long hospitalisation, in places far away from home. In an effort to address the challenge, the MDR-TB bed capacity will be improved through:
- expansion of West End Hospital MDR TB unit from a 30 bed to 50 bed and establishment of 2) beds Extensive Drug Resistant (XDR) TB Unit. The new infrastructure will address the spread of TB in the facility, this unit will be accredited as an ART site serving MDR-TB patients and provide recreational facilities for patients that are admitted for six to 24 months.
The project will cost R13.9 million and will be funded by global fund through National TB Control.
The province, will through financial assistance from University Research Company a United State (US) AID funded NGO conduct a knowledge attitude and perception survey in the Frances Baard, Siyanda and Pixley ka Seme districts.
The outcomes of this survey will inform our community TB awareness campaign and ensure that the appropriate messages are targeting appropriate communities.
The Northern Cape is experiencing a high transmission rate of TB in the community as well as within its facilities. To address TB as a public health problem, the involvement of all stakeholders will be sought in controlling the spread of TB. Amongst others, partnerships will be strengthened with Department of Correctional Services, Farming and Mining sectors and community structures. The province will host a TB Indaba in March 2010 to launch the TB month
The management of TB patients will be improved through continuous training of health professionals including nurses and doctors. The training will also be on the co–morbidity on HIV and TB. By 2014, all our professional nurses at our Primary Health Care facilities will have undergone this training.
The target for 2009/10 is to train 610 health professionals on TB, MDR-TB and HIV management, Infection Control, TB and MDR-TB recording and reporting. This is to ensure that all stakeholders managing TB patients implement governments TB treatment protocols.
The Department of Correctional Services, Military Health, Mining and private health services will also be targeted for this training.
The department is also engaging possible partners both locally and abroad in core funding arrangements for TB amongst others so that we reduce the high prevalence of TB in the province.
Over the MTEF period, commencing during 2009/10 financial year, the department will spend R38,740 million, to combat the impact of the disease in the province.
In the past financial year the province participated in United Nations and South Africa Development Community (SADC) exercise to review the country’s readiness and preparedness strategies for pandemic influenza. This is critical for the purpose of peer review, which tests our endeavours against global standards.
The Northern Cape was identified as official National Institute of Communicable Disease “Field site” for Master’s in Public Health students; this is a significant development as we get to tap in the rare expertise of those who will be placed in our province. During their presence they will also amplify our epidemic preparedness through the work they will do in our communities working with the department.
In the last financial year we also had three hundred and 392 Health professionals that were trained in the Management of the Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR).
To implement the provincial pandemic influenza plan and activities, it will include training and working with our partners, who will provide resources and technical expertise. Thus the province is ready to manage an outbreak. However communities are encouraged to perform basic hygiene like washing hands to minimize the risks of possible infection.
We will provincialise the remaining Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Sol Plaatjie so that we have a single provider of PHC services in the province by the end of the current financial year.
We shall strengthen the monitoring and performance of our primary health care facilities. A fully functional District Information System shall be established so that we can completely track trends and data we produce. Amongst the measures that we shall take to ensure that we improve the delivery of the health system is to appoint Health Area Managers who will amongst others play a supervision role at clinics.
Furthermore the timeous opening of facilities is critical, similarly it is not expected that people will be turned away from queues, in defiance of everything about Batho Pele, because someone deems it to be time to go home. If we work smartly we won’t have queues, just as an educator who teaches smartly completes the syllabus in time.
Honourable speaker, our Emergency Medical Services must be maintained so that they remain ready to respond to whatever eventuality may occur. We shall procure Emergency Service Vehicles worth R9,2 million, to replace condemned vehicles and increase our fleet.
In our intent to provide equitable access to quality health services we shall continue to strive to ensure that emergency and rescue services are provided to all the communities of our province so that we broaden access to health care.
Honourable speaker, two new boilers will be installed at Kimberly Hospital by October 2009 to replace the old and obsolete boilers to the value of R20 million, this will ensure that the laundry at Kimberley Hospital becomes fully functional.
The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit will be structurally aligned and refurbished with state of the art equipment this will be done in partnership with BHP Billiton and Carte Blanche to the value of R5 million. This is a critical investment for our child health services at Kimberley Hospital.
The Upgrading of the kitchen at Kimberley Hospital, which is about improving the quality of care to patients, will be done in collaboration with the new service provider to the amount of R3,7 million within the current financial year.
This will ensure that food services at the hospital comply with the highest standards and meet the needs of the patient’s dietary requirements. An upgraded plated system for serving of all meals will be introduced as from 1 July 2009, which will cost an additional R5 million per annum
The kitchen at West End Hospital will be fully operational on 1 July 2009. The total cost of upgrading and recurring catering services will be R22,2 million per annum. It will address service delivery concerns and will offer equal quality of service as in any private hospital. Linen to the value of R3 million will be procured to address theatre and other essential linen needs.
We are in the process of acquiring a digital X-ray machine for Accident and Emergency Unit. All other analogue X-ray machines will be linked via a Computer Radiology System. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) Scan images are already digital and with all other modalities which are digitally capable, will be linked to a central Picture Archiving and Communication System.
This will eliminate the need for conventional X-ray films as images will then be viewed on computer screen and will also eliminate the loss of X-ray films. Quick comparison between previous X-rays and new X-rays will assist in clinical decisions and can be viewed from any workstation that is on the hospital network.
Because all modalities will be saving images digitally, this will allow tele radiology services from a third party, such as when if the hospital is not able to attract the services of a Radiologist, the service can be outsourced to a service provider anywhere in the world. This is the advance technology that we want the ordinary people of the Northern Cape should access. The total cost will be R7 million of this upgrade.
Kimberley Hospital is also implementing a system that will allow laboratory results to be retrieved directly from the National Health Laboratory Services to the service point. This will result in saving money from duplicate tests being done. Laboratory results of patients transferred from institutions within the province will also be accessed on the system.
This will enable clinicians to collaborate and take real time decisions on actions to be followed all of this is indicative of the critical investments that we are making in technology to improve the quality of life of our patients.
Previously the department had announced that it will be upgrading the lifts at Kimberley Hospital, phase one for the installation of lifts is completed. The phase two of the project, which involves two more lifts, is in progress. This will ensure that the movements of patients to the ICU Unit will be speedy and respond to patient needs.
Honourable speaker, the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College has been able to turn itself around from the period of despair which it had been catapulted into and is now firmly poised to better serve its historical purpose.
We have indicated earlier that the Nursing College is now ready for an intake of sixty learners for the four year course, which will increase to 180 learners over the MTEF period. This is in addition to other students we are sending to institutions outside the province.
We are also undertaking to train an additional 30 midwives to address the shortage of midwives in the province in an attempt to reduce the maternal mortality rate.
Amongst the endeavours that are being taken the college is positioning itself in line with other colleges countrywide in becoming Institutions of Higher Education to provide for new qualifications and scopes of practice.
In order to ensure optimal learning, the department will this year, allocate an amount of R2 million per annum, over the MTEF period, to enable the College to replace old equipment and to purchase other latest equipment, for their use in the learning activities.
Honourable speaker, in the past year we reported that we have successfully undertaken the transfer of Forensic Pathology from South African Police Service (SAPS) to the Department of Health. Subsequently we undertook an ongoing project to upgrade the mortuaries, four of which are now being assessed for formal commissioning. Through this endeavour we believe that we will be able to provide a dignified service to our communities.
During the past year we had 46 practitioners from across the Criminal Justice Cluster involved in training of the integrated approach to the examination, treatment and support of survivors of sexual assault and gender based violence. These professions play an invaluable role in the empowerment of victims as well as preparation of such survivors for the subsequent criminal trials.
The Sexual Offences Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the department have agreed to establish a Thuthuzela Care Centre at Kakamas hospital, this is also in view of aiding process to deal with the escalating sexual crimes against women.
The areas of De Aar in Pixley Ka Seme district and Kagisho in John Taolo Gaetsewe district have also been identified as sites to establish Thuthuzela Centers in the medium term. An amount of R 1 million has been budgeted to increase the number of practicing Forensic Nurses to include the Moshaweng Area in John Taolo Gaetsewe.
Honourable speaker, the department through various independent assessments has been lauded for its successes in increasing access to health care. We are determined to build on such successes and ensure that across the province there is equitable access to quality health care for all levels of care.
During the past financial year, in October 2008, we opened the new Professor Z K Matthews Hospital, replacing the antiquated structure that was no more responsive to the health needs of our people. Clinics in De Aar, Douglas, Platfontein and Phillipstown were also opened.
We shall soon be completing the construction of Pampierstad at an estimate cost of R1,7 million, Hartswater at an estimate cost of R1,8 million and Olifantshoek at an estimate cost of R1,7 million clinics. These are all projects that were announced last year and these activities respond to the question of what it is we are doing to revitalise primary health care facilities.
For the year 2009/10 we have also taken into account the need to factor in the Presidential Development Nodes in our appropriated budget for the revitalisation of health infrastructure.
To this effect we will construct a new Community Health Centre (CHC) in Kutlwanong the cost estimate is R45 million.
The following clinics will also be constructed in the current financial year Groot Mier, Mapoteng and Boitshoko, Construction at these facilities, which will include staff accommodation, will start in August 2009 and the estimated budget for each facility is R7 million.
As a responsive government, after our visit to Gamopedi in Gasegonyane and Riemvasmaak we will start the construction of clinics in these two respective areas within the fourth quarter of this year.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Honourable Premier Ms Hazel Jenkins has already announced that the construction of the new Gordonia Hospital in Upington is progressing well. This facility is targeted to be completed during the 2011/12 financial year, it is a state of the art facility with a cost estimate of R836 million.
The Construction of the new De Aar Hospital with an estimate cost of R330 million is now scheduled to start during the last quarter of this financial year. We will conclude the plans and preliminary work before March 2010 for the construction of the new Postmasburg Hospital.
The completion of the new Mental Health facility remains a challenge for this department and is receiving attention.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to present to you the budget of the Department of Health, for the 2009/10 financial period:
- Programme: Administration R92 961
- Programme: District Health Services R988 906
- Programme: Emergency Medical Services R126 581
- Programme: Provincial Hospital Services R532 721
- Programme: Health Sciences and Training R32 898
- Programme: Health Care Support Services R17 532
- Programme: Health Facilities Services R422 763
We continue to allocate the bulk of our resources to District Health Services as we seek to have maximum impact on the lives of the people.
As we deem the light on this Address we want to quote Dr Margaret Chan when she states, “On the issue of fairness, let me again state the obvious. Our World is dangerously out of balance, also in matters of health. Differences between and within countries, income levels, opportunities and health status are greater today than at any time in recent history.”
Our intent is to reduce this imbalance characterised by remnants of past privilege in our country and global inequity.
Honourable speaker, we are committed to realising the objectives of the National Health Insurance thus making sure that we significantly balance the scale in health. Thus as a province we have to upscale our health infrastructure and prepare adequately for the final implementation of the National Health Insurance, notwithstanding the inordinate voices seeking to defend past privilege.
The ANC Health Plan of 1994 is very clear on the establishment of the NHI. General consensus shows that there is public and political support for the establishment of the NHI as a means to increase access to good quality health care for all and promote social solidarity.
Together, let us work towards achieving health care for all. This is much more important at this time of the global economic crisis. We need to create social safety nets for health, for all our people, through a concerted effort, despite the disapproval of the privileged few; we must have the NHI system.
We will not fail the lingering expectations of the hundreds of people who daily queue at our health facilities, deserving nothing but the natural relations between people and their developmental state quality service, dignity, compassion and recognition of their inherent value.
What are necessary are stronger partnerships, a coherent sectoral government response and much more interface between provincial and local government to ensure seamless interface and delivery of health services. The concept of District Health service is embedded within the concept of municipal boundaries thus cooperative governance cannot be over emphasised.
Ladies and gentlemen, in responding to the critical issues raised as part of the health Ten Point Plan and of concern to the public, the department will pay attention to greater detail and improve efficiencies in areas of public concern such as maintenance of our PHC facilities, the management of medical waste which is a personal concern and strengthening the management capacity of our facilities.
Madame Premier, indeed better performance will be catalysed by a focus on results. We are aware of the enormity of the task at hand; both the electorate and the incumbent government remain undeterred that the ANC government remains capable of acting with the urgency that the times demand.
In conclusion, speaker allow me to express a personal appreciation for the support and dedication of the hard working doctors, nurses and allied workers, some of whom toil out of the limelight saving lives daily.
I am especially indebted to members of the Health Management Committee on this Budget, who have set aside their time, reviewed lengthy budget memoranda and engaged with insight and energy in the debates that contributed to the refinement of this budget speech.
I also want to thank all the hard working men and women who understand their duty to society and serve with diligence to the cause of sound public health. The staff in the ministry still tolerates me with good grace and endless patience.
I also want to thank my family for support and inspiration.
Siyabulela!!! Re a leboga!!!!! Dankie!!!!
Issued by: Northern Cape Health
25 Jun 2009
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