Advisory Committee to ensure quality of health services

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Health has established an Advisory Committee to ensure that it puts quality at the centre of all its services.

Announcing the Advisory Committee for Quality, Safety and Standards on Friday, Health Minister Barbara Hogan said the body will advise her and the department on policies and best practices for quality health services.

She said it would further advise her on the means to ensure compliance and make recommendations for specific or system-wide corrective action.

The committee will also be responsible for playing an advocacy role in relation to the national agenda for quality.

It will be constituted into three sub-committees namely standards, infection, prevention and quality improvement.

The advisory committee will include five individuals, with expertise in the specialised areas of communications, information management, health systems research and health planning and health economics, who will provide it with input as well as render support to the sub-committees.

She said the department will shortly publish a notice in the Government Gazette of the terms of reference for the three committees.

The chairperson and one other member from each of the sub-committee will further sit on the National Committee, which may also call the full or part of the membership of a sub-committee to participate in any relevant discussion.

Minister Hogan also announced that the department will convene an Interim Committee for Quality, which will build on the achievements of the existing department.

The interim committee, which will function over a period of approximately six months, will initiate some of the critical preparatory work the Ministerial Advisory Committee is tasked with in assembling a picture of the current situation and identifying what they consider the priority challenges.

"This 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," the minister said.