11 May 2017

South Africa: MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo - Kwazulu-Natal Health Budget Vote 2017/18

press release

Budget Speech presentation by KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo at the KZN Legislature, 19 April 2017


Premier of KwaZulu-Natal-- Hon Willies Mchunu, Macingwane

Head of Government Business - Hon Sihle Zikalala , Khuzeni

Chairperson and Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Portfolio Committee on Health

Fellow Members of the Executive Council

Honourable Members of the Legislature

Mayors,Councillors and Amakhosi

Chairperson and Members of the Provincial AIDS Council

Head of Health - Dr Sifiso Mtshali

Senior Managers in the Department of Health

Partners and Sponsors

Health workers across the length and breadth of the Province

Distinguished guests

People of KwaZulu-Natat

Members of the Media

Ladies and gentlemen

Thirty-nine years ago, in a town called Kazakhstan, health activists met to deliberate on how they could improve the health of all the people in the world. After considerable debate, they agreed on a Declaration, Alma Ata, whose theme was "Health for All by the year 2000."

Some health activists complained that there would be a long wait from 1978 to 2000 {22 years). The reality is that the year 2000 came and there was no health for all in the world.

In the year 2000, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), of which MDG 4, 5 and 6 focused on health, were formulated. In the year 2015, though significant strides had been made, there was still no health for all citizens of the world.

To date, comprehensive health is a commodity that is accessible by a few who have means. Health is a basic human right that should not only be available to those who can afford. Iam happy that in this House, all political parties except one, agree to universal health coverage.

Those political parties Isuppose know what it is like to lose a breadwinner; the only child; or a mother of 5 children because these individuals or their families did not have the means to access quality healthcare.

It is a moral obligation to carry each other's burden in order to have long and healthy life. Icommend you all and wish to call upon you to continue to champion this noble vision: universal health coverage.

I would like to believe that South Africans who went to Kazakhstan in 1978, carried with them the aspiration of the most revolutionary document ever put together in our country, the Freedom Charter of 1955 that highlights health issues.

On the 24th of March 2017, we laid to rest Mrs Bongiwe Bolani, a matron who opened Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital (PMMH) in 1980. She was such a professional, and a daughter to Bishop Alpheus Hamilton Zulu of the Anglican Church, appointed the first Black Bishop.

OkaNdaba stood firm on her principles and did not allow the hospital to be used for political activities. For that she paid dearly; her house in KwaMashu was bombed twice. She left PMMH out of fear and never recovered her pension. We give thanks to former Premier Mkhize, who supported us when we made an ex-gratia payment to her to apologise on behalf of government.

We as the Department of Health were humbled at her funeral when her eldest daughter Phumla Bolani mentioned this good gesture from government. Sasizama ukucisha amacala alabo abasindulelayo. May her soul rest in eternal peace. Malibongwe!

On the day of the funeral, a retired matron Mrs Bella Mkhwanazi delivered a moving speech on behalf of all retired matrons and professional nurses.

She expressed sadness that some of the policies and protocols that they have developed to improve the quality of life of citizens have been ignored by some of us still practising. We agreed to meet to revive that. Iam happy to announce that on 18 April2017 we met the coreof these leaders to learn good practices from them.

They may have retired but their knowledge and wisdom is invaluable. We cannot afford to bury their legacy. We have planned a workshop to invite some of them to share their good practices with the department.

As MEC, one is not entitled to an advisor. I am happy to announce that in 2016, we sourced funding from one of our partners to have Prof Green-Thompson as MEG's advisor.

Prof Green-Thompson was the first head of the Department of Health in KZN after the new democratic dispensation came into effect in 1994. He taught us at medical school. He is a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist.

As a department, we have accelerated our fight to reduce maternal mortality because we have mentors and advisors like Prof Green-Thompson, Prof Jack Moodley and Dr Neil Moran. We will show in our programme that efforts made to reduce maternal mortality have yielded good results in KZN.

From the State of the Province address, our Hon Premier, Mr Willies Mchunu, gave us the Department of Health marching orders. He said: "We are grateful to announce that his Majesty has granted approval for the Lower Umfolozi Memorial Hospital to be renamed as Queen Nandi Memorial Hospital.

This is in honour of Queen Nandi, uMama weSilo iLembe eleqa amanye ama/embe ngokukha/ipha:'

On the 2nd to the 4th April 2017, we provided health services at Dumbe Community Health Centre, supporting the only three doctors there. It felt good to go back to seeing patients.

The mayor of Dumbe Municipality, councillor Mavuso, requested us to consider changing the names of the clinics built in that area that are named after German farmers who once settled there.

These names are Luneburg, Hartland and Frischgewacth. There are many heroes and heroines in that area, such as Gandhi Mashaya, Zama Ndaba to name a few, who struggled for a better South Africa till the end of their lives.

Chairperson, as a Department, our focus is on the provision of quality health care for all citizens of KwaZulu-Natal. Supreme in our mandate is the attainment of a long and healthy life for all our citizens.

Indeed, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 compels us to work towards creating a health system that works for everyone and produces positive health outcomes. It specifies that as a country we ought by 2030 to:

Raise the life expectancy of South Africans to at least 70 years;

Ensure that the generation of under-20s is largely free of HIV;

Significantly reduce the burden of disease; and

Achieve an infant mortality rate of less than 20 deaths per thousand live births, and an under-5 mortality rate of less than 30 per thousand live births.

This Policy Statement will detail our initiatives aimed at meeting the objectives set by the NDP as well as our commitments in the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP).

Allow me to start by declaring that for the success of all our initiatives, we recognise the important role communities and other stakeholders have to play.

Our Premier, Honourable Willies Mchunu using the theme 'Through Unity in Action, we can move KZN to a prosperous future' in his State of the Province Address emphasises this fact, saying:

'As government we believe that healthcare for all cannot be achieved without local leadership and citizen engagement. We therefore undertake to continue to put the health of each citizen of this Province at the centre of our agenda. And we invite leaders of society to work together to turn around the situation.'

Indeed this takes into consideration the fact that long-term health outcomes are shaped by factors largely outside the health system; that is; lifestyle including exercise, eating habits, nutritional levels, education, sexual behaviour, road accidents and the level of violence.

Other important factors are housing, access to clean potable water, and sanitation- these are crucial especially to reduce Communicable Diseases such as TB, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition and others which still affect large proportions of our KZN population. Full speech [PDF]



Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Health

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