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6th Municipal Health Services Summit Calls for Improved Resource Allocation to enable effective delivery of services

 

 


Posted: 15 February 2019

Through its Community Development Directorate, SALGA convened its 6th Annual Municipal Health Services Summit on the 13th - 14th February 2019 at the Southern Sun Hotel in the City of Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

Under the theme: “Strengthening the delivery of municipal health services by municipalities,” the summit brought together 200 sector experts who included members of the Health and Emergency Services Working Group, MMC’s responsible for Health Services, Municipal Managers, Senior Managers and Managers responsible for Health Services across from all Metropolitan and District Municipalities as well as representatives from sector departments and the International Federation of Environmental Health.

The Municipal Health Services (MHS) function is allocated to Local Government in terms of Schedule 4 (Part B) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996. The National Health Act further breaks down the services as follows:
Water quality monitoring

  • Food control
  • Waste management
  • Health surveillance of premises
  • Surveillance and prevention of communicable diseases, excluding immunizations
  • Vector control
  • Environmental pollution control
  • Disposal of the dead, and
  • Chemical safety   

Albeit it’s critical role in ensuring the well-being of South African citizens, the Municipal Health Services function continues to be plagued by inadequate funding, shortage of personnel and tools of the trade. In his address to the summit delegates, Dr Selva Mudaly, President of the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) placed great emphasis on the need for adequate budgets for the funding of MHS “I challenge all MHS managers to unite and fight for fair budgetary allocations, we can no longer have municipalities who do not adequately budget for what is in actual fact a very important function,” he said.

The keynote address by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on the last day of the summit primarily focussed on the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI). “The government will soon implement the NHI which seeks to ensure quality health care for all South Africans irrespective of socio-economic status,” Motsoaledi told delegates.

The Minister further indicated that the implementation of NHI will need a massive reorganization of the current health system, both public and private sector. The reorganization will include the amendment of 12 legislation and will affect local government.

 

 
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