WCGHealth welcomes the signing of the Presidential Health Compact | Western Cape Government


WCGHealth welcomes the signing of the Presidential Health Compact

30 July 2019

The Western Cape Government welcomes the signing of the Presidential Health Compact by President Ramaphosa and Health Minister Mkhize on 25 July 2019

The Western Cape Department of Health welcomes the signing of the Presidential Health Compact as it signifies a move which is committed to strengthening the health system, especially the public health system, which will lay the foundation towards universal health coverage. 

This Presidential Health Compact has the potential to improve equity, quality of care and access to care. We believe that the National Department has national stewardship roles, and the Province is likewise the Provincial Steward for a Healthy Society. A steward has a central role in mobilizing public, private and civil society towards the goal of a healthy society.

To this end we will be convening a consultative forum with all stakeholders on 5 September 2019 towards strengthening the health system in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in the Western Cape.

Health Departments across the country face major challenges, largely due to the increasing burden of disease, and at the same time, reduced budgets.

Provincial budgets have been decreased by R9bn over the last three years in real terms. Even if budgets appear to increase on paper, they are shrinking in real terms due to above inflation staff wage increases, and medical inflation, which is 3% higher than general inflation. Wage increases above inflation are not provided for. Additional funding is therefore required to give effect to the promises of the Social Compact.

In order for this Presidential Health Compact to succeed, we believe that the focus should be on establishing strong provincial health systems and local competency. We are fully supportive of the globally accepted approach of UHC which is not only to improve health outcomes, but also reduce poverty and strengthen the economy.

Local decision-making, close to communities, true community participation and partnerships (including with the private sector) are the key ways to improve healthcare provision.

The Western Cape fully agrees, that every South African deserves a functional and fair health system. Our approach to the UHC is three fold:


  1.     Plan for health system strengthening.
    1. The pillars of the Social Compact will be addressed within our Departmental Transformation Strategy and the next five-year health system strengthening plan which is being consulted currently.
    2. The WCGH has a strong track record of health system strengthening and performance as evidenced by some of the best health outcomes in the country, a 15-year track record of unqualified audits and  clean financial audits for the past 3 years.
    3. We have the capacity to turn additional funding into delivery and impact.
  2.     Policy response to NHI and UHC  
    1. We have noted that the NHI Bill will become available soon.
    2. The Department will study the Bill and respond accordingly, mobilising partners as needed.
    3.  The WCGH is committed to finding a collaborative way with NDOH to enable progress towards UHC.
  3.     Becoming a laboratory for UHC for learning from practice:
    1.  The WCGH is very keen to become a place to learn from practice and we intend developing some UHC service delivery models in partnership with the private sector in the short to medium term.
    2. In this regard, we will be engaging with the private sector and other partners including some donors who have shown keen interest,

We are already putting in place plans to learn from public-private collaboration in two areas - Saldanha Bay Municipality and Klipfontein Sub-district (Gugulethu, Philipi, Crossroad, Nyanga, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Heideveld, Athlone areas). 

There is also progress in inter-provincial collaboration for joint learning related to health system strengthening.

On 22 July 2019, I wrote to Minister Mkhize inviting him to a meeting where we will be discussing strategies on how to implement universal health coverage, governance matters and collaborations. I am still waiting for a response from his office.

This shows that the Western Cape is ready for the roll out of the health compact and appeals to the Minister to start implementing it in the Western Cape.

Together we can achieve UHC for access to quality healthcare for all.

Media Enquiries: 

Nomawethu Sbukwana                   
Spokesperson to Western Cape Minister Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo
Cell: 083 893 5200                      
E-mail: nomawethu.sbukwana@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za