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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)

Chapter 3 : National Health

23. Functions of National Health Council


(1) The National Health Council must advise the Minister on-
(a) policy concerning any matter that will protect, promote, improve and maintain the health of the population, including—
(i) responsibilities for health by individuals and the public and private sector;
(ii) targets, priorities, norms and standards relating to the equitable provision and financing of health services;
(iii) efficient co-ordination of health services;
(iv) human resources planning, production, management and development;
(v) development, procurement and use of health technology;
(vi) equitable financial mechanisms for the funding of health services;
(vii) the design and implementation of programmes to provide for effective referral of users between health establishments or health care providers, or to enable integration of public and private health establishments;
(viii) financial and other assistance received from foreign governments and intergovernmental or nongovernmental organisations, the conditions applicable to receiving such assistance and the mechanisms to ensure compliance with these conditions;
(ix) epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of national and provincial trends with regard to major diseases and risk factors for disease; and
(x) obtaining, processing and use of statistical returns;
(b) proposed legislation pertaining to health matters prior to such legislation being introduced into Parliament or a provincial legislature;
(c) norms and standards for the establishment of health establishments;
(d) guidelines for the management of health districts;
(e) the implementation of national health policy;
(f) the national and provincial integrated health plans contemplated in section 21(5);
(g) an integrated national strategy for health research; and
(h) the performance of any other function determined by the Minister.


(2) The National Health Council may determine the time frames, guidelines and the format for the preparation of national and provincial health plans.


(3) The National Health Council must strive to reach its decisions by consensus but where a decision cannot be reached by consensus, the decision of the majority of the members of the National Health Council is the decision of the National Health Council.


(4) The National Health Council may consult with or receive representations from any person, organisation, institution or authority.


(5) The National Health Council may create one or more committees to advise it on any matter.


(6) The National Health Council determines the procedures for its meetings.


(7) A quorum for the National Health Council is at least half of the members plus one.


(8) The Minister or his or her nominee contemplated in section 22(2)(a) must convene the first meeting of the National Health Council within 60 days of the commencement of this Act.