The Western Cape Department of Health has lamented the waning interest from citizens in joining clinic committees and hospital boards, the head of health, Dr Keith Cloete, has said.
Cloete said he was concerned by the “lack of civic pride” that citizens of the province once had, that moved them to taken up positions in voluntary organisations.
He was speaking during a presentation to the legislature’s standing committee on health where the functionality of such boards was discussed.
“We need to ask: How do we get back to that place where membership of these boards and committees becomes a passion again among members of the community? We want it to become something that people do because it is the right thing to do.”
Highlighting the contribution made by volunteers such as the late Polly Jacobs and leader of the Cape Metropolitan Health Forum, Damaris Kiewiets, who attended the virtual briefing, Cloete said: “A strong community-led, action-oriented network of people is a must for our society and that’s what we ask of each citizen.”
Suggesting the need for transparency in appointments to the boards, Kiewiets said: “The reason people aren’t interested in serving on the committees is because of how people are appointed. This has been issue of great concern among members of committees and for members of communities and those on the various health forums.”