There shall be established an advisory council, to be designated the Statewide Health Coordinating Council, which shall advise and consult with the State Board of Health as the designated health planning and development agency in the administration of the health planning and resource development functions set forth in this article. The council shall have not less than 16 members appointed by the Governor from a list of not less than five nominees submitted by each health systems agency which falls, in whole or in part, within the state. Each health systems agency shall be entitled to not less than two members of the council, and each shall have the same number of members. Of the representatives of a health systems agency, not less than one half shall be individuals who are consumers of care and who are not providers of care. In addition, the Governor may appoint such persons, including state officials, public elected officials and other representatives of governmental authorities within the state, to serve on the council as he deems appropriate; provided, however, that the number of such persons appointed to the council shall not exceed 40 percent of the total membership of the council, and a majority of such appointees of the Governor shall be consumers of health care who are not also providers of health care.
The Statewide Health Coordinating Council shall elect from its members a chairman and shall meet at least once in each calendar quarter of each year. All meetings of the council shall be held in public.
The State Health Officer shall be an ex officio member of the council. The chief medical director of the Veterans' Administration shall designate one ex officio member of the council to represent the Veterans' Administration facilities in Alabama. Not less than one third of the providers of health care who are members of the council shall be direct providers of health care. Not less than one half of the membership of the council shall be consumers.
One third of the members of the council shall be initially appointed for a period of one year, one third shall be appointed initially for a period of two years, and one third shall be appointed initially for a period of three years. All subsequent appointments shall be for a period of three years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment was made. Members shall serve for the term of appointment or until their replacements are appointed.
The council may from time to time appoint consultants in any field relating to the State Health Planning and Resource Development Program. The council may also from time to time appoint persons other than members of the council to special task forces to perform specifically designated functions and duties for the council with a limited time period.
All members of the council and members of task forces shall be paid all expenses incurred in carrying out the functions and duties of the council as the per diem rate and mileage rate prescribed by law for state employees. Consultants may be paid a negotiated per diem rate plus expenses and mileage rates prescribed by law for state employees.