Poor behaviour mars Cuba visit

Meetings of the Portfolio Committee on Health do not always turn out the way I expect. At a report back on the study tour to Cuba, I expected to hear rather more about what South Africa could learn from that country’s primary health care system, and rather less about the disappointing behaviour of some of the students who accompanied the members of the Portfolio Committee on the visit. Continue reading

Nursing our colleges back to health

With just one year to go before South Africa’s new nursing and training curricula are implemented, the Committee was briefed by the National Department of Health (NDoH) on just how ready it is to roll out the new programmes, and how it intended to address the challenges of inadequate infrastructure at health institutions to accommodate clinical training programmes. Continue reading

Portfolio of health Meeting with Parliament of Czech Republic Delegation

11 November 2015

I am encouraged by how much external input we are getting into what will become our own national health service.The latest visitors to the Portfolio of Health were a high level delegation from Czech Republic. Continue reading

The passage of a Bill, continued

Topic:- Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill [B6-2014]: adoption of NCOP  amendments

Portfolio of health meeting held on 04 November 2015

Matters arising high level summary

I am constantly reminded that as people outside the parliamentary process, we do not always know how slowly the wheels of government can turn. This week, and the Portfolio of Health meeting, the Department of Health explained that the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill [B6-2014] amended the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 101 of 1965. Continue reading

The Final journey of Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill

I’ve found it so interesting to watch the process of a Bill though the committees and finally through the acceptance in Parliament.

For the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, I was there when the National Department of Health (NDoH) briefed the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on 25 August 2015. Then on 22 September 2015, there was a session to negotiate mandates and responses by the NDoH. Then on 20 October, we saw the Bill formally adopted. Continue reading

The good, the bad, and the ugly of the NDoH Annual Report 2015

When it comes to Annual Reports and audits, not every department in our country has as good a track record as the National Department of Health (NDoH). Sadly, however, the provincial departments don’t always fare as well.

The National department of Health presented its NDoH 2014-15 Annual Report and Annual Performance Plan (APP) recently. Ms Precious Matsoso, Director General, Department of Health, said the APP is designed to deliver on specific commitments such as improving the quality of health care, reducing health care costs, improving health management and leadership and implementing the re-engineering of primary health care. Continue reading

NCOP Social Services Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill

Bill [B6B-2014] Department of Health briefing held on 25 August 2015

What happens when an Act needs to be amended? At a recent briefing by the National Department of Health (NDoH) to the NCOP Social services Committee in Parliament on the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, I found out. Continue reading

National Health Insurance (NHI) Pilot Districts

A Portfolio meeting to receive an update from Minister of Health on National Health Insurance (NHI) Pilot Districts progress meeting was held on 21 August 2015. The Department of Health may have completed its part of the White Paper on NHI, but it is still tied up in Treasury. And until it is finally released, we are going to continue to see mistrust between the public and private sectors. Continue reading

Medical Innovation Bill – Central Drug Authority

Every time I visit the Houses of Parliament for the Portfolio of Health meetings, I am struck by how beautiful this venerable old building is.

I often think that if the walls could talk, they would reveal many secrets. This last week, however, I think the walls would have been shocked into silence to discover that the subject under discussion was marijuana. The purpose of the Medical Innovation Bill (MIB) is to make provision for the innovation of cannabinoids in medical treatment and to legalise its use for medical purposes, as well as for commercial and industrial use. Continue reading