District Health Councils Will Ensure a Better Health Service
The appointment of the district health councils is in accordance with the National Health Act 61 of 2003 which stipulates the establishment of district health councils. The Western Cape's District Health Councils Act 2010 came into effect on 24 August 2011. All six councils were established at the end of last year.
The district health councils will feed their inputs to the provincial health council, which will be composed of the chairpersons of the six district health councils, and chaired by the provincial minister.
A district health council consists of:
- A person appointed by the provincial minister to represent him.
- A member of the relevant district council, who will also be the chair.
- A member of the council of each local municipality, nominated by the members of the relevant council.
- Not more than five other persons, appointed by the provincial minister, after consultation with the district council.
The first priority for these councils will be the draft of a district health plan, according to the specific needs of their communities.
Minister Botha says citizens will now be able to take up health matters through their district health councils: "These members will address health issues through the appropriate structures on your behalf. This is why we are introducing these members to communities, so that they know who they can approach on issues relating to health service delivery in their area."
"By the same token these members will also be responsible for the distribution of appropriate and comprehensive information on health services in their region. If people really use these district health councils to address their health service needs, we can deliver a better service together."