Western Cape Government Withdraws Funding to Cape Metro Health Forum
The Western Cape Government Health wishes to announce that all District Health Councils (DHC) in the province, including the Metro District, have now been established in accordance with the District Health Council Act. The Act makes provision for the establishment of legislated governance structures in each district in the province.
In the absence of the formalisation of the Metro DHC, the Department of Health has been funding the activities of the Cape Metro Health Forum (CMHF) in the Cape Metropole. With the establishment of the Metro DHC, the department has withdrawn funding to the CMHF as of 1 April 2012 on the grounds that it is not established in terms of formal legislation.
Historically, in the absence of legislated community participation structures for Primary Care Services, the department's Metro District Health Services (MDHS) has provided financial assistance in support of the CMHF for Primary Healthcare (PHC) health committees in the City of Cape Town.
A draft policy framework was developed as an interim measure to guide the functioning of these structures. However, neither the Provincial Minister of Health nor the Provincial Health Council formally endorsed the interim policy framework.
The promulgation of the District Health Council Act questioned the existing funding arrangements with the CMHF district and sub-district structures, as these structures are not constituted in terms of legislation. The Western Cape Government subsequently deemed the continued funding of these structures as inappropriate in light of the establishment of the Metro DHC.
The department will now start with formalising the PHC Health Facility Committees in terms of appropriate provincial legislation.
The MDHS will now also directly manage the interventions to support the establishment and strengthening of these health committees, currently deemed the primary function of the CMHF structures.