Monday 22 April

Organisations representing patients call for a minimum service level agreement (MSLA) or alternative mechanism to protect access to essential health care services

In 2007, 2009 and 2010 strikes took place in the public health sector which resulted in a serious disruption of health care services. Many users of the public health system were not able to access vital services or collect their medication. Earlier this year SECTION27 was approached by a number of concerned organisations, including Rural Doctors Association of South Africa (RuDASA) and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) to assist in finding a resolution which recognises the right to strike and also protects patients’ rights and prevents loss of life or serious harm being suffered by patients during a strike.

SECTION27 comments on important draft hospital regulations


Yesterday, SECTION27 responded to the “Draft Regulations Relating to the Categorisation of Hospitals” issued by the Minister of Health on 12 August 2011. The regulations aim to comprehensively categorise hospitals; if drafted properly they will improve health care service provision, offer important guidelines to health care providers and enable civil society to hold hospitals and government accountable.
Unfortunately, shortcomings in the draft regulations render them incapable of fulfilling this potential without significant revision.
The submission, sent to the Director-General of Health on 11 October 2011, identifies numerous shortcomings in the draft regulations.

SECTION27 and TAC welcome Green Paper on National Health Insurance

SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome the release of the Green Paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) for public comment. As organisations committed to the realisation of the right of everyone to have access to health care services, as guaranteed in section 27 of the Constitution, we value the opportunity to participate in what appears to be a clearly defined and well-considered policy development and implementation process that is to be accompanied and underpinned by legislative reform.

Civil Society Organisations Call for the State and Unions to Urgently Finalise the Minimum Service Level Agreement for the Health Sector

We are a range of organisations who campaign for the right to health, and/or who provide health care services to poor people who depend on the public health sector. We fully support the efforts of the government to improve health care services. We also support unions and their members who are at the front line of health care provision, and who justifiably try and draw attention to the difficult conditions in which most health care workers operate.

Groundbreaking Ugandan case that challenges the state's failure to protect maternal health

On the 27th of May 2011 the Centre for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), a Ugandan NGO, and the families of two mothers who died in government hospitals in 2009 in Uganda approached the Ugandan Constitutional Court alleging the women’s deaths were caused as a direct result of Uganda’s failing healthcare system. The Constitutional Court will begin its hearing of this landmark case this Thursday on July 7th 2011.

It is critical that you speak up for these women. Raise your voices in support of the right to health in Uganda, distribute this widely. Please send messages of support to CEHURD.
E-mail info@cehurd.org or phone +256 414 532283

Report on investigation into infant deaths at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital released

SECTION27 welcomes the release of the report on the investigation into the tragic deaths of six infants on 18 May 2010 at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (“the Hospital”) in Johannesburg. The report raises serious concerns about the extent to which the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development (“the Department”) adheres to norms and standards related to human resources, and the consequent overcrowding in public health facilities in the province.

University of Johannesburg and MSF Discussion Report – Dialogue 2

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) and the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Faculty of Health Sciences have partnered to raise awareness and encourage discussion on public health-related issues through a series of high-level debates. In the second of this series, the panel addressed critical issues from challenges hampering the ability of the public health system to provide treatment, care and support, to legal frameworks and opportunities such as innovative financing mechanisms for global health.

Current OSD offer still disadvantages rural communities

The Rural Health Advocacy Project, Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa, SECTION27 and Wits Centre for Rural Health support SAMA’s rejection of the final OSD offer to public sector doctors. By accepting the Government’s OSD offer, collective labour in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council will be contributing to a major setback in Government’s strides to achieve health for all. By offering only marginal increases to medical officers in particular, rural communities are likely to see a further exodus of rural doctors to urban areas, the private sector, and overseas.
Rural patients are disadvantaged in many ways: poverty levels are higher, access to basic services and education is poor, travel to health facilities is costly, facilities are understaffed and waiting times are out of control; now they can expect even fewer doctors to attend to their needs.

TAC and SECTION27 welcome the release of IST report

On Monday 31 May Business Day reported that because of the deepening financial crisis facing health services in the provinces the Minister of Health is discussing a “bail-out” of provincial departments of health by the Treasury. Treasury intervention is now vital to prevent the collapse of health services. But equally important is the resolution of the crisis facing financial management systems that led to the massive debt in the first place.

WDA