TAC demands better health care in Mpumalanga
More than 250 members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marched to the Nelspruit offices of the Mpumalanga MEC for Health and Social Development to hand over a memorandum listing health issues that needed to be addressed urgently.
The memorandum for MEC Candith Mashego highlights the shortage of human resources in public health care, delays in making appointments once interviews have been completed and the high number of vacant posts.
It also expresses concerned about the non-functioning intensive care unit (ICU) and the shortage of food at Ermelo Hospital, delayed renovations at Rob Ferreira Hospital, poor service and conditions at Rene Clinic and the fact that ambulances to do not reach people on time. The memorandum also raised the pressing problem of treatment stock-outs.
TAC advocates for equal access to quality healthcare and HIV treatment for all in South Africa.
TAC provincial chairperson Thobile Maseko said: “The situation in most public health facilities is bad. Some of the wards in Rob Ferreira Hospital are not working due to the delayed renovations and this affects patients.”
Nqobile Shabalala, TAC’s provincial trainer, said there were many vacancies that had not been filled in the province and that the health system was overburdened as a result.
Some areas in Mpumalanga struggle with ambulances. TAC provinicial organiser Mduduzi Yende said people had to wait “hours” for ambulances to arrive.
Mashego was not there to receive the memorandum, but a representative of the MEC’s office received it. TAC wants the MEC to respond in writing within 15 working days on all the issues and to provide a clear indication how they would be addressed. TAC has asked for a meeting with the MEC within 20 working days.
The Nelspruit march is part of a national TAC protest, which aims to improve access to health care and strengthen health care in all the provinces.