‘€œThis will ensure that the analysis of the department is enriched by a much broader view and range of expertise, enabling us to build this immediately into our plans and projects, to assist us in the public sector to dramatically improve the quality of care to our people’€, Hogan said about the advisory committee, which comprises 13 members, including doctors, academics and advocates.

The introduction of the Ministerial Advisory Committee coincided with the launch of a report by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) into access to public health care services. The report paints a grim picture in as far as access to health care services is concerned.

The report followed a public inquiry by the commission, launched in May 2007, into the Right to have Access to Health Care Services. The investigation involved visits to more than 100 health care facilities, written and oral submissions as well as public hearings.

‘€œAccess to health care services, especially for the poor, is still severely constrained by expensive, inadequate or nonexistent (emergency) transport and by long waiting times at clinics and other health care service facilities. These constraints amount to a denial of the Right to Access Health Care ‘€œ, said Dr Zonke Majodina, the Deputy Chairperson of the SAHRC.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Molefi Sefularo, acknowledged that his department faced big challenges.

‘€œQuality of care ranges from the right procedures, the right medicines and the right care, including waiting time and so on. But also our facilities will have to be of such a standard that there should be no serious difference between the public and the private sector’€, he said.  

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