Province to take over Primary Health Care Facilities run by Municipalities
Minister Uys said a decision in this regard was long overdue and eagerly anticipated by local government. "This decision, involving both the national and provincial governments, rings in a new era in the funding of primary health services in the non-metropolitan areas of our province. It will potentially free up R60 million budgeted for this purpose by municipalities for hopefully other related services that will contribute to the health of our people."
He added that the lack of funds in the current budget cycle meant that the City of Cape Town would continue to make a substantial contribution to PPHC for at least the next few years and expressed his gratitude for their contribution.
"While the Province will fully fund PPHC services in non-metropolitan areas from 1 April 2005, it would take some time to complete the provincialisation of health services," said Uys. "We realise a lot of work still needs to be done and close co-operation between SALGA, organised labour and the Health Department will be crucial to ensuring a smooth transition to the new dispensation.
"Assuming operational control for PPHC services places a huge responsibility on our shoulders and I want to stress right at the outset that there is no plan to downsize the health services provided to our patients in these areas - or very importantly, in any way reduce the staff needed to provide these services." He added that he was confident that everybody involved would support the process.
The Minister together with SALGA chairperson, Cllr Bazier, announced that technical teams comprised of the various role-players and focused on issues of staffing, finance, assets and liabilities would begin its work next week. Cllr. Bazier welcomed the decision and gave the assurance that SALGA will provide support and guidance to its members while playing an active role in promoting healthy communities.
Contact: Minister Pierre Uys 082 455 5144
Cllr. Rhoda Bazier 083 517 1650
Media liaison: Herman van der Westhuizen 082 772 9161