+ Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF)

5th BEMF meeting to take place on 1 April 2011

The fifth Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) will take place on Friday, 1 April 2011 from 10:00 to 14:00 at the SECTION27 offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The BEMF draws together individuals and organisations from civil society to focus attention on the state’s health budgeting and expenditure.

SECTION27 and TAC applaud successful ARV medicine tender

SECTION27 and TAC applauds the successful ARV medicine tender – but call for continued actions to drive prices of essential medicines down further.

SECTION27 and TAC applaud the Minister of Health and his team at the Department of Health (DoH) for their part in conceptualising, implementing and concluding a successful antiretroviral (ARV) medicine tender. Announced yesterday, the 2010 tender – for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012 – will see the state procuring ARV medicines at or about the best prices available globally.

4th BEMF meeting: Understanding the IST reports

The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) held its fourth meeting on 12 November 2010. It brought together over 30 people from 10 organisations. The forum considered the Integrated Support Team reports, the antiretroviral tender and the future cost of antiretroviral treatment in the public health system. The forum also heard updates on events in the public health system in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Free State provinces. An update on the TAC/CEGAA community budget monitoring project was also presented.

IST reports on the state of the health system and the public's right to know

More than a year after their finalisation and after many frustrated attempts by civil society organisations and the media to access them – including through the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 – SECTION27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) have finally been leaked copies of all the provincial reports compiled by the Integrated Support Teams (ISTs). Up to this point, the only report we have received officially is a consolidated report available here. This report is important, but lacks the necessary detail to allow civil society to engage with different challenges in different provinces.

The IST reports on each province were commissioned by the former Minister of Health, Barbara Hogan, in response to the massive budgetary shortfalls that over-whelmed provincial departments of health (PDoHs) in the 2008/2009 financial year, which reached crisis levels when the Free State Department of Health issued a moratorium on the initiation of new patients onto antiretroviral treatment in November 2008. After civil society pressure, that moratorium was finally lifted in February 2009.