In order to enable residents to voice their health concerns, district health councils have been established all around the Western Cape, with the latest being the Cape Town metro district health council launched yesterday by the Western Cape health MEC Theuns Botha.
This brings the total district health councils established in the province to six, as per the requirement of the National Health Act.
"The district health council will become the mouthpiece of the community to the provincial health council," said Botha.
Speaking at the launch, Botha said the first obligation was for the district health council to start drafting health plans, as different districts had different disease profiles and needed different infrastructure.
"The district health plans will differ from each other. What we really want to ascertain is the profile and the challenges of each district." He said his department wanted to improve "overall performance and service delivery" in all of the province's districts.
He expressed hope that the various health councils would not solely become a "council of complaints". "Be very cautious not to become a complaints district health council.
The members serving on the district health council will be responsible for the distributing of information to address the health services needed."
Botha encouraged people in the Cape Town metro to make use of their established district health councils in matters relating to health.
Each district health council has a chairperson and together with MEC Botha they form the provincial district health council, said spokesperson Helene Rossouw.
Mayoral committee member for health Lungiswa James will serve as chairperson of the Cape Town metro district health committee while the following will serve as ordinary members: Dr Keith Cloete – chief director metro district health services
Western Cape health department;Dr Ivan Bromfield
– the City's director of heath; Dr Theresa Fish
– deputy dean of the University of Stellenbosch faculty of health sciences; Dr Reno Morar
– deputy dean of health services at the University of Cape Town; Domaris Kiewiets
–chairperson of the Cape metropolitan health forum and Joseph Lourens
– a member of Tygerberg Hospital facility board. – WCN