Western Cape Government Health budget vote

Theuns Botha MPP

Western Cape Minister of Health

Western Cape Government

Mr Speaker

Honourable Premier Ms Helen Zille

Cabinet colleagues and Members of the Provincial Parliament

Chairperson of the Standing Committee

Head of Department and management of the Department of Health

Our partners at the academic institutions, civil society and in the health sector

Media and invited special guests, Mr Leonard Mashilla and his team from Drakenstein

Citizens of the Western Cape

There are two significant challenges confronting health services all over the world, South Africa and the Western Cape. On the one hand the quality of health care provided to people is improved and on the other hand that health services must become increasingly efficient to achieve greater value from every health rand. It is also true the world over that the social determinants of disease have a major impact on the health status of the population. For this reason it is essential that the causes of the rising burden of disease are addressed through a whole of government approach.

It is for this reason that our government adopted the strategic objective of “Creating Wellness”. This is a new policy direction to create opportunities for citizens and partners to take co-responsibility for health services. One of the key ways in which the Western Cape has tried to improve healthcare quality across the province is through innovative partnerships that leverage the talents of the private sector for the benefit of public sector patients. It is based on a win-win philosophy that improves the physical health of patients and the financial health of the economy. The objective is that all parties – Western Cape Government, health consumers and service providers – can participate in the improvement of the total health service outcome.

The results of these efforts over this political term speak for themselves. The Western Cape has the best health outcomes in the country.

At this point I would like to introduce and pay tribute to my special guests in the House today, Mr Leonard Mashilla and his team from Drakenstein – Ms. Rebecca Cloete, Mr. James Kruger, Ms. Tina Lewis, Mr. William Johnstone, Ms. Tersia Conradie and Ms. Sandra Theron.

Mr Mashilla is a nurse by profession with further training in HIV and TB prevention and treatment. In the past year he has positioned himself as the champion to promote Medical Male Circumcision and his extraordinary efforts has produced results. The Drakenstein area showed the best Medical Male Circumcision coverage rates in the Province.

Whilst on this topic, according to the latest Institute of Race Relations study, the Western Cape has the highest male condom distribution rate in South Africa for 2013-14. Our male condom distribution coverage increased from 38.8% (2009/10) to 54.1% (2012/13).

Other health outcomes that stand testimony to the best in the country are:

  • The transmission rates of HIV from mother to child have reduced from 3,6% in 2009/10 to 1.7% in 2012/13 which is the lowest rate in the country. The total clients on Anti-retroviral therapy were over 134,000 in 2013 compared with around 75,000 in 2009.
  •  The Western Cape has the highest TB cure rate in the country at almost 82%.
  • Response times for life threatening priority 1 calls of less than 15 min in urban areas have improved from 28 per cent to 74 per cent of cases over the last five years.
  • Maternal deaths in facilities have decreased from 107 per 100 000 live births in 2009/10 to 60 per 100 000 live births in 2012/13.
  • The under 5 year child mortality rate in the Western Cape is 29 compared to a national average of 53 in 2010 and the infant mortality rate is 23 compared to a national average of 37 in 2010.
  • The Western Cape has the highest life expectancy in the country.

These achievements would not have been possible without the hard working and dedicated staff of the department, some of my special guests in the Chamber today. They truly go beyond the call of duty to render a service to patients despite often working in stressful and difficult environments. I have heeded the call from staff for better communication, less bureaucracy, greater recognition and acknowledgement. An innovative change management project has been launched at 38 facilities within the district health service in both metro and rural areas to strengthen local management, provide support to frontline staff, and promote innovation and positive behaviour in keeping with the departmental values.

I would like to acknowledge the management at all levels of the Department. The role of leadership and strong management is often taken for granted, but sadly we have seen examples in recent years in other provinces of how easy it is for even well-developed health services to deteriorate when this is absent.

The 2014/2015 budget

Now let me turn my attention to the budget of the coming financial year.

Health receives 36.2 per cent of the entire provincial budget in 2014/15. This is the highest Departmental allocation in the province, signalling the importance that the Western Cape Government places on the provision of health services in this province. My sincere appreciation to the Premier, Minister Alan Winde, my cabinet colleagues and the provincial treasury officials for the manner in which they have deliberated over the Health Budget.

The Department of Health is allocated R17 338 billion in 2014/15, and a total of R54 730 billion over the 2014 MTEF. The 2014/15 budget allocation to Health increases by 8.51 per cent or R1 360 billion in nominal terms from the revised estimate for 2013/14.

In 2014/15, the provincial equitable share amounts to R12 081 billion and the national conditional grants R4 720 billion.

The income from Departmental own receipts in 2014/15 increases by R16,594 million to R503, 567 million in 2014/15. However, there is a decrease in the outer years of the MTEF period due to the Global Fund exit strategy.

Distribution of the budget:

The Health budget is divided between the eight departmental budget programmes with Programmes 2, 3, 4 and 5 funding the direct operational cost of providing health services amounting just over 82 per cent of the total allocation to the Department.

Compensation of employees or salaries amounts to R10 335 billion or 59.6 per cent of the total budget. The Department has allocated R5 310 billion or 30.6 per cent of the budget to the procurement of goods and services.

The broad priorities of the Department are to:

  1. Address the specific service pressures
  2. Improve the quality of care and the patient experience
  3. Focus on the prevention and treatment of priority conditions, such as mental health, child health, women’s and maternal health, and chronic disease.
  4. Increase the Wellness of the population
  5. Increase efficiencies
  6. Advance partnerships

Our drive to partner with the private sector since 2009 is reaping fruit. Our estimation is that in the past 5 years R500 million has been generated through contributions by the private sector, and The Health Foundation will continue to expand this potential.

I would also like to mention two key projects that although receiving limited funding in this budget, signal an intent of this government going forward with regard to groups of patients, often small in number, who in the past have not been prioritised but have conditions through no fault of their own that require expensive medical procedures or interventions. For this reason R13, 7 million has been allocated for screening infants shortly after birth as a priority, assistive devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants when these are indicated as necessary by specialist advice and with parental consent. A further R2 million has been allocated to provide support for people living with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour.

In our next term, we will increase this allocation towards non-preventable diseases.

PROGRAMME 1: ADMINISTRATION

In the past 5 years staffing levels across the service delivery component, in particular, have been augmented and the department has a historically low vacancy rate of funded posts for doctors and nurses of less than 4%.

The department has maintained an unqualified audit for the last ten years and has consistently spent over 99% of the allocated budget in recent years.

In continuation of the successes achieved Programme 1, which is responsible for the strategic management and overall administration of the Department, receives R631.388 million or 3.6 per cent of the vote in 2014/15.

The increase in the budget in Programme 1 is for additional funding allocated for the

development of Information Technology including the continued roll out of the Primary

Health Care Information System and the replacement of computers older than five years.

There is also an increased allocation for forensic investigation capacity and the provision

for medico-legal claims. The Chronic Dispensing Unit will be fully rolled out across the

Province to its full capacity of 350 000 prescriptions. We already deliver medicine to

56 000 patients at alternative sites convenient for patients. This project has greatly

reduced the numbers of people waiting at primary

health care facilities, shortening waiting times and improving the patient experience.

The Independent Health Complaints Committee Bill was passed in the House this week.    The Committee, flagged by the Health hotline will bring about a fresh approach to address public complaints.

PROGRAMME 2: DISTRICT HEALTH SERVICES

The Western Cape Government has developed a bold vision for health care in this province expressed in the Healthcare 2030 strategy that has been endorsed by Cabinet and will be distributed in the next few weeks.

The implementation of Healthcare 2030 is not a luxury but indeed a necessity. The escalating burden of disease in this province demands action. Heathcare 2030 calls for a fundamental shift from illness to wellness and every citizen taking responsibility for their health and wellness. Wellness is thus everyone’s business! The Premier launched this initiative two years ago at a Wellness Summit which resulted in the Cape Town Declaration on Wellness collectively endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders.

A step in this direction is that every possible opportunity must be utilized to screen and detect risk factors early and where disease is present commence treatment. The recent launch of Wellness Centres in partnership with private sector retail pharmacies provides just such an opportunity. It is heartening that the private sector has responded so positively to this initiative. Together with the initiative for state-of-the-art mobile units that will travel to schools to screen learners, the “Creating Wellness” policy is now coming into fruition. The Health Foundation is lobbying the private sector for sponsorships for Wellness Mobiles that will reach citizens who are not able to travel long distances to shopping centres for screenings. The screening package is for hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, BMI and HIV testing. This initiative builds on the current model of supplying family planning and vaccines through private partners for which with 200 contracts are in place.

Healthcare 2030 also recognises the need for an effective health service and the strengthening of the entire health system is an urgent priority. The vision of Healthcare 2030 is access to person-centred quality health care, which applies equally to patients and staff. Healthcare 2030 will be prioritised and sequenced in the five year and annual plans with indicators and targets to give effect to its strategic direction and vision.

Western Cape Health has a strong foundation with a strengthened district health system as the base supported by other levels of care and the specialised services.

We will continue in this financial year to build on the successes achieved. For this reason Programme 2 is allocated R6,7 billion which is 39 per cent of the vote in 2014/15, which is a nominal increase of R706 million or 11.67 per cent.

There are 34 district hospitals and 453 primary health care facilities, including City of Cape Town clinics, in the Province. Almost 90% of the patient contacts in the department occur within the district health service.

Community-based services reduce pressure on health facilities by providing healthcare to the community at or near their homes and empowering the community to increase wellness. The strengthening of these services, which include home-based care, intermediate care and mental health services is vital to the provision of affordable patient-centred quality health care.

The focus of the programme is to strengthen basic services such as immunisation and antenatal care as well as improve the patient experience. One of the commonest concerns of patients is waiting times. A systematic process to address waiting times will be undertaken and be driven at the highest level.

36 per cent of the Programme 2 funds are allocated to district hospitals. The recent opening of the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain hospitals is a major milestone in the improvement of health services in the Cape Town Metro. The commissioning of these hospitals within a tight financial envelope is challenging and required reprioritisation within the existing budget as well as an increased allocation for which we are grateful.

The commissioning of a new 30 bed 72 hour observation facility for psychiatric patients at Mitchell’s Plain Hospital will alleviate some of the pressure on mental health services in the area.

R7 million has been allocated to Programme 2 in respect of the National Health Insurance Grant and will fund NHI pilot projects in the Eden district should be noted that the Western Cape Government does not support the NHI in its current format, but has proposed an alternative model – a well-functioning system with equal access for all and a qualitative service.

PROGRAMME 3: EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

The Department made sizable investments in staff of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as well as the fleet, procuring 18 additional ambulances, all of which were built and converted locally and replacing 393 old ambulances with newer vehicles. The staffing levels were increased during the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and maintained with the appointment of an additional 516 Basic Life Support, 87 Intermediate Life Support and 45 Advanced Life Support providers. An EMS Internship program produced 60 highly trained personnel.

In continuation of the successful strengthening of the EMS, this programme is allocated R871 million which is 5 per cent of the vote in 2014/15. Improving the Emergency Medical Services to improve response times remains a priority.

The Western Cape Ambulance Services Act, 3 of 2010 has been promulgated. The service has successfully applied for licensing as an ambulance service in 2013. The challenge will be to maintain the equipment and staffing standards in an effort to retain this accreditation.

The implementation of the contract over the next five years valued at over R250 million awarded to provide the most modern computer-aided call taking and dispatch system at the EMS Communication Centre will significantly improve the quality of care, responsiveness and efficiency of this service.

PROGRAMME 4: PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL SERVICES

This programme is responsible for the delivery of general specialist hospital services and specialised hospitals which include tuberculosis, psychiatric, rehabilitation and the dental training hospitals.

Provincial Hospital Services is allocated R2,72 billion which is 15.7 per cent of the vote and a nominal 8, 47 percent increase.

An important focus area remains the strengthening of district specialist services for anaesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics at regional hospitals that support district health services. General specialist services are a key component to ensuring access to quality health care particularly in the rural areas.

TB Hospitals are allocated 8.85 per cent of the Programme 4 budget in 2014/15 and will continue to focus on treating the very ill patients and multi- or extreme drug resistant TB patients. Drug resistance in TB continues to remain a serious challenge and these patients have poorer prognosis, stay longer in hospitals and are costly to treat. The key is to detect and treat TB right the first time.

Mental health services and the acute services in psychiatric hospitals remain under pressure with an increasing incidence of mental illness. The management of behaviourally disturbed patients, who can be disruptive particularly within general hospital settings, will be prioritised through outreach and support from general specialists, co-ordinated management of the waiting lists for psychiatric hospitals and by making appropriate provision for these patients in future infrastructure developments. The opening of 30 bedded 72 hour observation units at Mitchell’s Plain and George Hospitals will bring significant relief.

The waiting list for forensic psychiatric observations remains long, leading to overcrowding of the minimum and medium secure wards. This challenge will be partially addressed through the revitalisation project at Valkenberg Hospital currently underway.

PROGRAMME 5: CENTRAL HOSPITALS

Programme 5 is allocated R4,9 billion which is 28 per cent of the vote in 2014/15 and a nominal increase of 7.4 per cent. These hospitals render the full package of highly specialized services which are only available in a few centres in the country as well providing referral regional hospital services to their immediately surrounding district facilities. They provide an essential referral point for patients with complex medical problems from the Western Cape and beyond.

The national conditional grant funding of these hospitals remain insufficient and this has been repeatedly brought to the attention of the National Department of Health.  The result is that the Department significantly subsidises these services from the provincial equitable share which decreases the funding available for other service requirements in the department.

PROGRAMME 6: HEALTH SCIENCES AND TRAINING

This programme, allocated R314 million is responsible for rendering training and development opportunities for serving and prospective employees of the Department of Health. The largest portion of these funds is allocated for the training of nurses in the Western Cape.

The Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) strengthens community-based services through providing community-based care-givers with formal qualifications in ancillary health care and community health work. Job opportunities are created by offering recent matriculants learnerships as Pharmacist’s Assistants Assistant-to-Artisan training, Basic Ambulance Assistants and within the Premier’s Advancement of Youth (PAY) Programme.

PROGRAMME 7: HEALTH CARE SUPPORT SERVICES

This programme which handles laundry and engineering services, forensic pathology services and the Cape Medical Depot is allocated R386 million.

In continuation of the roll-out the successful project to de-centralise the delivery of chronic medication, R66,27 million has been allocated for the packaging and distribution of medicine parcels. Delivery of chronic medication parcels increased from 1,47 million packages in 2009/10 to 2,2 million packages in 2012/13 and will extend to the whole province in 2014. This past financial year the CDU rolled out its services to 60% of the Western Cape rural districts – the West Coast, Cape Winelands and the Overberg. The Central Karoo and Eden districts will be added to the service in 2014. The service is expected to peak at 300 000 patients per month by the end of March 2015.

The production capacity and the efficiency of the newly upgraded and extended Lentegeur Regional Laundry will be maximised to ensure improved laundry service delivery to health facilities.

While it is anticipated that funding for engineering maintenance will not increase significantly over the next five years, the Department will initiate a study to identify opportunities for efficiency and better utilisation of the available scarce technical skills.

Service provision by the forensic pathology services will be consolidated and aligned with the district boundaries where possible whilst ensuring access. Improving physical infrastructure remains a priority and a number of construction projects have been prioritised including the construction of a new forensic pathology centre to replace the Salt River facility, new facilities in Knysna and Laingsburg and the expansion of the Tygerberg facility. The high workload and related stress continue to impact on the Forensic Pathology Service.

The replacement of the ICT warehousing system (MEDSAS) in the Cape Medical Depot in order to meet the audit requirements together with the possible relocation of the Depot itself are priorities.

PROGRAMME 8: HEALTH FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

The Department has invested an unprecedented R2, 7 billion on infrastructure over the last five years, of which new infrastructure includes 7 Clinics and Community Day Centres, 7 EMS stations, 5 Forensic pathology laboratories, and 2 District hospitals across the province. In addition many sites have been upgraded or renovated. Modernising the infrastructure and provision of world class facilities has played such an important role in improving the work environment for staff and improving the quality of care patients receive.

We will continue in this financial year to build on the successes achieved with the construction of health infrastructure by allocating R723 million towards the construction of new health facilities and the upgrading and maintenance of existing facilities. This translates into a nominal decrease of R135, 127 million or 15.8 per cent. The equitable share budget for Programme 8 has been reduced according to the ability to construct infrastructure and due to the fact that the Department will utilize the Health Facility Revitalisation Grant (HFRG) partially for maintenance and acquiring essential equipment.

As mentioned earlier the expenditure on infrastructure has been unprecedented over the past five years and this trend will continue despite the restructuring of the budget allocation in the coming year.

I will highlight only some of the projects that will be completed during 2014/15 but these provide an illustration of the scale of improvements that will occur.

  • New Symphony Way Community Day Centres in Delft and Hermanus
  • A new Du Noon Community Health Centre
  • The temporary Emergency Centre at Heideveld Community Day Centre;
  • A new Rawsonville Clinic
  • New Robertson and Heidelberg Ambulance Stations
  • New emergency centres at Karl Bremer and Knysna Hospitals
  • A new psychiatric observation unit at Mitchell’s Plain Hospital
  • Upgrading and additions to the emergency centre at Tygerberg Hospital.

The Department has similarly prioritised the purchase of medical equipment over the last five years. This not only improves the quality of care for patients but allows health professionals to maintain and improve their clinical ability while maintaining patient treatment at the highest levels. Some of the major new equipment that has been purchased includes:

  • CT scanners installed in regional and some of the large district hospitals. (Paarl, Worcester, George, Somerset and Mitchell’s Plain hospitals)
  • MRI scanners replaced at Tygerberg and Red Cross Hospitals.
  • A PET scanner at Tygerberg Hospital, which is the most advanced scanner currently available.
  • A linear accelerator at Groote Schuur Hospital which is essential for treatment of cancer patients.

CONCLUSION

I have been privileged to lead the Department of Health over the last five years and would like to thank the Premier for entrusting me with this important portfolio in her cabinet.

I am proud of the staff of this Department who are dedicated, hard-working and constantly wanting to improve the service. I use this occasion to place on record my sincere gratitude to all of them.

My appreciation goes to the many partners from the private sector, universities, organized labour and non-profit organizations with whom we have worked with over the years. The achievements of the department would not have been possible without your contribution for which I thank you.

In closing I would like to pay a special tribute to Professor Craig Househam, who has headed the Department of Health for more than a decade. He is the longest serving Head of Department of Health in the country and has provided firm and able leadership to a complex department. He intends retiring towards the latter half of this year and he can do so satisfied that the Department during his term has developed and maintained its position as the best performing Department of Health in the country. We wish him well in the future.

Finally I would like to express my gratitude to the standing committee and specifically the chairperson, Ms Anroux Marais, the staff in my office and my wife, Sarie, for her continued support.

Thank you.