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Chapter 15:16

Health Service Act

Act 28/2004, 6/2005 (s. 25).




  1. Short title and date of commencement.



  1. Establishment of Health Service Board.
  2. Functions of Board.
  3. Membership of Board.
  4. Delegation of functions by Board.
  5. Reports of Board.
  6. Minister of may give policy directions to Board.



  1. Constitution of Health Service.
  2. Appointment of Health Service Secretariat.
  3. Responsibility for administration of Health Service.
  4. Appointments, promotions and dismissals.
  5. Conditions of service of members of Health Service.
  6. Consultations re conditions of service of members of Health Service.
  7. Persons under contract.
  8. Recognised associations and organisations.
  9. Investigation and adjudication of misconduct cases.



  1. Corporate status of central, provincial, district and general hospitals.
  2. Establishment and composition of hospital management boards.
  3. Functions of hospital management boards.

21 Administration, application and income of health services fund.

  1. Accounts to be kept by hospital management boards.
  2. Audit of accounts.



  1. Appeals to Labour Court.
  2. Pension benefits on transfer to Health Service.
  3. Service regulations.
  4. Regulatory powers of Minister.
  5. Amendment of section 3 of Cap. 1:01.
  6. Amendment of section 69 of Cap. 27:19.
  7. Amendment of section 5 of Act No. 27 of 1998.
  8. Amendment of section 5 of Cap. 15:09.
  9. Repeal of Cap. 15:07 and savings.
  10. Transitional provisions.


First Schedule:  Central and Provincial Hospitals.

Second Schedule:  Provisions applicable to the Board and Hospital Management Boards. Third Schedule:  Powers of Hospital Management Boards.

To provide for the establishment of the Health Service Board and its functions; to constitute the Health Service and to provide for its administration and the conditions of service of its members; to provide for the transfer of persons engaged in public health service delivery from the Public Service to the Health Service and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[Date of commencement : 25th February, 2005]



  • Short title and date of commencement

This Act may be cited as the Health Service Act [Chapter 15:16].

  • Interpretation

In this Act—

“Board” means the  Health Service Board established in terms of section 3;

“central hospital” means any hospital—

  • listed in Part I of the First Schedule; or
  • designated by the Minister by notice in a statutory instrument amending Part I of the First Schedule;

“district or general hospital” means any Government hospital other than a central or provincial hospital designated by the Minister by notice in the Gazette and includes a mission hospital or any State-aided hospital that is so designated;

"fixed date" means the date fixed in terms of section 1(2) as the date of commencement of this Act;

"Government hospital" means a central, provincial, district or general hospital;

“Health Service” means the services constituted by the persons referred to in section 9;

“Health Service Secretariat” includes all administrative staff of the Health Service Board;

"hospital management board" means any hospital management board established in terms of section 19;

“member”, in relation to the Health Service, means a person employed in the Health Service, including a person employed under contract in terms of section 15;

“Minister” means the Minister of Health and Child Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“mission hospital” means a private hospital sponsored by any religious body;

“pension benefit” means any pension, commutation of a pension, gratuity or other similar allowance or benefit or any refund of pension contributions, including any interest payable thereon, payable to a person in respect of his or her service as a member of the Health Service or in respect of any illhealth or injury arising out of and in the course of his or her official duties as such a member or for a dependant or personal representative of such person in respect of such service, ill-health or injury or on the death of such person;

“provincial hospital” means any hospital 

  • listed in Part II of the First Schedule; or
  • designated by the Minister by notice in a statutory instrument amending Part II of the First Schedule;

“recognised association or organisation” means an association or organisation declared to be a recognised association or recognised organisation, as the case may be, in terms of section 16(1);

“service regulations” means regulations made in terms of section 26 regulating conditions of service of members of the Health Service;

“State-aided hospital” means any private hospital, including a mission hospital, which receives a grant from the State and includes a mission hospital.



  • Establishment of Health Service Board

There is hereby established a board to be known as the Health Service Board which shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to this Act, of doing anything that a body corporate may do by law.

  • Functions of Board
    • The functions of the Board shall, in consultation with the Minister, be—      (a) to appoint persons to offices, posts and grades in the  Health Service;  and
    • to create grades in the Health Service and fix conditions of service for its members; and
    • to supervise and monitor health policy planning and public health; and
    • to inquire into and deal with complaints made by members of the Health Service; and
    • to supervise, advise and monitor the technical performance of hospital management boards and State-aided hospitals; and
    • to set financial objectives and the framework for hospital management boards and State-aided hospitals; and
    • to handle appeals in relation to disciplinary powers exercised by hospital management boards over members of the Health Service employed in any Government hospital; and
    • to assist in resource mobilisation for the Health Service; and
    • to exercise any other functions that may be imposed or conferred upon the Board in terms of this Act or any other enactment.
    • The Board shall exercise its functions under this Act so as to ensure the well-being and good administration of the Health Service and its maintenance in a high state of efficiency.
  • Membership of Board
    • The Board shall consist of—
    • a full-time Executive Chairperson; and
    • not less than three full-time and not more than two part-time members appointed, subject to subsection (2), by the Minister.
    • The majority of members referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall be chosen for their ability and experience in health service delivery or administration:

Provided that the Minister shall appoint as a member at least one person registered as a legal practitioner in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07].

  • The Second Schedule shall apply to the qualifications of members of the Board, their terms and conditions of office, vacation of office, dismissal and the procedure to be followed by the Board at its meetings.
  • Delegation of functions by Board
    • In the interests of ensuring the greatest degree of delegation of decision-making functions consistent with good administration, the Board, in consultation with the Minister, shall—
    • ensure that the functions vested in it by or under this Act are delegated wherever practicable to hospital management boards and members of the Health Service engaged in public health service delivery; and
    • take such steps as are necessary to encourage the greatest possible delegation of decision-making functions within all parts of the Health Service.
    • A delegation of a function by the Board in terms of subsection (1)(a)—       (a) may be made absolutely or subject to conditions;  and
    • may be amended or revoked at any time; and
    • shall not preclude the Board from exercising the function so delegated.
    • A person to whom the Board has delegated a function in terms of subsection (1)(a) may, with the consent of the Board, further delegate the function, either absolutely or subject to conditions, to any other member of the Health Service who is  under his or her control or authority.
    • Where the Board has delegated a function in terms of subsection (1)(a) to any person, any conditions or limitations applicable to the exercise of that function by the Board shall apply to the exercise of the function by the person to whom it has been delegated.
    • Where a person has been or is about to be appointed to or promoted within the Health Service pursuant to a power delegated by the Board in terms of subsection (1)(a), and the Board considers that—
    • the person does not have the qualifications or ability necessary to carry out the duties of the position he or she occupies or will occupy, as the case may be; or
    • his or her appointment or promotion has contravened or would contravene, as the case may be, any condition under which the power was delegated;

the Board shall without delay revoke the appointment or promotion or direct that the appointment or promotion shall not be made, as the case may be, and may take such other action in the matter as the Board think necessary:

Provided that—

  • before taking any action in terms of this subsection, the Board shall give the person whose appointment or promotion is in issue and the person who appointed or promoted him or her or proposed to appoint or promote him or her, an adequate opportunity to make representations in the matter;
  • where a person has been appointed or promoted and the Board is satisfied that the appointment or promotion was not effected as a result of any fraud or wilful misrepresentation on his or her part, the Board shall not revoke the appointment or promotion.
  • This section shall not be construed as limiting any power which the Board or any other person may have under any other law to delegate functions to another person.