If our new President is serious

If the Presdent is seriousTAC welcomes resignation of former President Zuma – urges new Acting President Ramaphosa to initiate bold reforms

JOHANNESBURG, 15th FEBRUARY 2018 – The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa. Under Zuma’s disastrous Presidency key state institutions have been weakened, unemployment has risen, and corruption and mismanagement has flourished.

As TAC, we have in recent years seen first-hand how widespread corruption and mismanagement have compromised service delivery to people dependent on the public healthcare system – especially in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Underperforming and uncommitted Premiers and MECs for Health have often been rendered untouchable due to their political connections. We consider the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the victimisation of the #BopheloHouse94, and the oncology crisis in KZN, amongst others, to be the direct symptoms of this degradation of the state brought about by Zuma.

We have no illusions about the massive task ahead of South Africa’s new Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, the team around him and our society more broadly. Our healthcare and education systems both remain deeply dysfunctional. Unemployment rates remain unacceptably high and South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking for signs that Acting President Ramaphosa is serious about addressing these foundational crises facing our society.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will reduce the size of the current bloated Cabinet by at least 20% and bring an end to the policy and culture of cadre-deployment.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will remove the following grossly underperforming and/or suspiciously corrupt Ministers from office:

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Cancer Patients Before Profits

Patients before ProfitsTime for cancer patients to come before corporate profits.  By Manon Ress

On 26th Of May, the World Health Assembly adopted the long debated Resolution on Cancer Prevention and Control. This is an important step towards supporting countries to address this disease in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Cancers are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012, 70% of which occurred in low and middle income countries. These numbers are expected to increase as society ages and lifestyles change, particularly in developing countries. The societal cost, as measured by human potential loss and economic cost, is high.

In addition to prevention efforts, addressing cancer requires access to prevention and treatment but this goal cannot be achieved under the existing policies that shape the price of medicines.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in developed and developing countries. Women with positive gene “human epidermal growth factor receptor 2” (HER2) face serious challenges related to the high prices of two effective medicines.

Trastuzumab is marketed by Roche under the brand name Herceptin. In South Africa, a 12-month course of trastuzumab costs approximately ZAR 516,700 ($38,000) – or around 5 times the country’s average household income. Given its unaffordability, trastuzumab is not available in South Africa’s public health sector where more than 80 percent of the country’s population seek care. Moreover, high co-payments required by medical insurers to access treatment are simply unaffordable for many who use the private sector”. (See also this post)

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