Health Public Health and Health Systems

Manifesto puts politicians on the spot

In the run-up to the election, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) launched a People’s Health Manifesto Friday asking politicians and parties to make their stances known on key health issues..

In 2013, TAC members protested against the alleged health systems collapse in the Eastern Cape

In 2013, TAC members protested against the alleged health systems collapse in the Eastern Cape

In the manifesto, TAC poses 11 health-related questions to political parties to which they are expected to respond by 14 March. Parties’ responses will be made public at a 20 March TAC rally in Bloemfontein and published on the TAC website.

“We are doing this because we believe our leaders have to be held accountable,” said TAC chairperson Anele Yawa at Cape Town manifesto launch. “We hope to sensitise political parties to key issues in our health system and to seek clarity on how parties intend to respond.”

The answers will also help voters make an informed choice at the ballot box on 7 May, he added.

The TAC’s Andrew Mosane stressed that it was important to elect accountable leaders in May as he warned that much of the progress made in the health sector in recent years could be undone by corruption, mismanagement, poor administration and a lack of political will, and therefore it is important to have the right people in power.

The manifesto asks political parties to explain stances on issues such as cervical cancer, HIV prevention and the National Health Insurance as well as the so-called “Secrecy Bill.”

According to Yawa, these issues were the most pressing issues identified by members working in seven provinces nationwide.

“We are present in clinics, hospitals and communities every day and see first-hand what is working and what is failing,” Yawa told Health-e.

 An edited version of this story first appeared in the 8 March edition of The Saturday Star

About the author

Wilma Stassen

Wilma Stassen is a reporter at Health-e News Service. She focuses on non-communicable diseases. Follow her on Twitter @Lawim