Working for access to quality public healthcare in South Africa since 1998
21 August 2018

TAC Gauteng demand meeting with MEC

21 August 2018

For immediate release by TAC Gauteng

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Gauteng has been requesting a meeting with MEC of Health Gwen Ramokgopa to address the health crisis facing the province since November 2017. Since this date, and despite numerous requests, the MEC has failed meet with us. Yesterday after waiting for over an hour at her offices, the meeting was then cancelled.  

The situation in Gauteng is critical. In May TAC sent a detailed report to the MEC that was published in June. The report highlighted the current challenges facing the Gauteng health system. With lots of money around and most of the population relatively close to urban hubs, delivering quality healthcare services in Gauteng should be easier than in most of South Africa’s other provinces. Yet health issues continue to be a major challenge in the province.

We are faced with ongoing human resource shortages, overworked staff, unreliable ambulance services, staff who don’t treat patients with dignity or respect, extensive numbers of medical negligence cases, and all too often people sleeping on the floors of hospitals. Our hospitals are in a shambles – even to the point of health workers taking action. This is the reality on the ground that continues to put people’s health, dignity and lives at risk.

Overall, the persistent and severe challenges result in people who depend on the public healthcare system receiving inadequate, poor quality and undignified healthcare. The Gauteng healthcare system is broken. This dysfunction impacts disproportionately on the poorest. There must be an urgent turnaround strategy to clean the dirt in the system and to get rid of all the corruption and mismanagement that was able to manifest under the watch of former MECs Brian Hlongwa and Qedani Mahlangu, and that continues to deprive public healthcare users of their Constitutional right to access quality healthcare services.

We demand that MEC Ramokgopa meet with us before the end of Wednesday 22 August 2018. Failure to meet with us and adequately responding to our concerns will force us to escalate our actions to civil disobedience. It is time to deliver on your Constitutional mandate, or face the consequences.

Our members and members of our communities have had enough of the decay in our public healthcare system. We will hold politicians accountable for their indifference to the suffering of other human beings. We will not accept the way our dignity is being trampled on by the corrupt and the politically connected.

For more information contact: 

Fikile Mtsweni | Provincial Chairperson | 076 529 7631 | fikile.mtsweni@tac.org.za 

Tshidiso Mokhele | Provincial Secretary | 081 503 8081 | tshidiso.mokhele@tac.org.za