Bisho, Eastern Cape – The World AIDS Campaign Programme Officer, Nombasa Gxuluwe recently assisted in the preparations and also actively participated in a street march organised under the banner of the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition.
On the 13th September 2013 about 2 000 people marched to the Bisho legislature and handed over a memo to the MEC for Health Sicelo Gqobana. A response was expected by October 13th.
The Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition had given government a month to a come up with a solution to saving the Eastern Cape’s collapsing health system.
The civil society group had also said it would not hesitate to take government to court if the need arose.
The group also held a press briefing in Johannesburg afterwards where it released a damning report on the state of public healthcare in the Eastern Cape.
The report contained horrific stories from patients who lost their loved ones as a result of the failing health system. It also contained affidavits from nurses and doctors who told of the allegedly inhumane conditions they were forced to work in.
The South African government has since then positively responded to the civil society coaliton’s demands
The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi recently held a press conference to respond to the SECTION27/TAC report, “Death and Dying in the Eastern Cape” as well as the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition’s (ECHCAC) calls for better health care in the province.
Please find the full press statement attached. Dr Motsoaledi- Press Statement on Health Services in the Eastern Cape
The coalition in turn also released a press statement in response to the minister’s pronouncements, commending him, pledging to continue to monitor the implementation of these pronouncements, as well as reiterating the call that the national and provincial departments work together to improve the state of health care in the Eastern Cape.
* Adapted from an original news article in the City Press newspaper and the Section 27 organisation website