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TAC to work with Gauteng health department to fix broken system

From left: Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s adviser Dumisani Dakile, National Chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign Sibongile Tshabalala and Gauteng Department of Health head Dr Sibongile Zungu outside the premier’s office in Newtown, Johannesburg on Thursday, 12 August 2021. (Photo: Michelle Banda)

After spending four days and two nights outside Premier David Makhura’s office to highlight the crisis-ridden Gauteng health system, the Treatment Action Campaign has gained its desired resolution — to be heard and find a way to save Gauteng’s public healthcare system.

Addressing Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) members on Thursday, the Gauteng Department of Health’s head, Dr Sibongile Zungu, and Dumisani Dakile, the adviser to Premier David Makhura, announced that the Office of the Premier and the Office of the MEC would work closely with the TAC to fix identified problems in the Gauteng public health system.

“The work starts now. The transformation of health is vital and a primary matter that needs everyone to work together. This meeting must serve as a historical moment for the health sector in Gauteng. I commit on behalf of the government, the Office of the Premier and the MEC’s office to ensure that issues presented by the Treatment Action Campaign have been taken into account and will be resolved in due course,” said Dakile.

Zungu said they would collaborate with the TAC and people living with HIV to make sure issues presented are addressed accordingly.

“From now on we work together and will not meet in boardrooms, but rather in the facilities to make sure we cover the groundwork.”

TAC members say spending two nights and four days marching outside Makhura’s office had been worth it.

TAC member Thulisile Dlamini said she was very happy, “because our call has been listened to and the officials committing to work with us is a promise for change and the first step to addressing the probing issues”.

Anele Yawa, the TAC secretary-general, said: “It is more easily said than done… what is important now is the implementation of everything resolved.”

Yawa said a team of eight people is to be formed: two from the Office of the Premier, two from the TAC, two from the sector of people living with HIV and two from the Gauteng Department of Health. The team will assess the state of Gauteng’s public health facilities for six weeks, starting on Monday.

Yawa said that after the six weeks, solutions will be discussed by the elected representatives with Makhura, MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi and Zungu. DM/MC

This is an ongoing story and will be updated to report on the outcome of engagements between all parties involved after the six weeks.

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