Statement of The People’s Health Movement -SA for the march to Bisho of the 13 September 2013

13 Sep 2013

The People’s Health movement of South Africa notes with sadness and anger the heartbreaking stories of
health system failures documented the report by TAC and Section 27 in the Eastern Cape. We know that
this is not only an Eastern Cape problem but a symptom of a greater crisis affecting the public health sector

The problems we see in health care are due to decades of underfunding, privatisation and mismanagement.
The failure of both the public and private sectors to deliver quality health care to our people is a crisis,
which can no longer be ignored.

In recognition of the crisis affecting the public health system in the Eastern Cape, the People’s Health
Movement, as a member of the Eastern Cape Health Action Coalition, and believing that health is
a fundamental human right, endorses and strongly supports the ECHAC in its campaign for an overhaul of the E
Cape health system. The Eastern Cape Health System is legally bound to respect, protect, promote and fulfil
the constitutional rights of the people in the province. This will require proper leadership and accountability at
all levels in the system.

In addition we call on end to all victimisation of health workers who have the moral courage to speak the
truth about the conditions in our public hospitals while protecting the individual rights of the
patients they serve. They give voice to the most vulnerable in our society and should not be punished for
bringing these problems to the light of the public scrutiny.

PHM SA also notes with concern that the long promised “NHI” and health system reform has not been
delivered. Specifically, the white paper on the proposal has still not been made public. As civil society
campaigning for apeople’s health system, we demand access to these policy documents and adequate time
to mobilise a community response to the proposals. The new health system must be designed with the
knowledge and participation of the people it will serve.

Finally, as PHM SA we believe in “The right for health for all”. This includes campaigning for an improvement
in the living conditions, which cause ill health meaning: access to clean water, sanitation, proper jobs, a clean
environment and adequate and nutritious food. Our fight for a healthy nation is therefore also a fight against
exploitation, inequality and oppression.

Specifically today, we hold hands with other organisations in the ECHCAC as we demand fundamental and
tangible change in the Eastern Cape. We urge the MEC and the national Minister of Health to respond to
thiscrisisimmediately and begin to build a health system where our people are treated with care and dignity.

ISSUED BY THE People's Health Movement South Africa

For further comment
Lydia Cairncross 082 786 7014
Louis Reynolds 082 378 2045
Tinashe Njanji 078 831 5809
Lulamile Timbiliti 083 667 3661

CLICK HERE for the PDF version

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