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No games, no lies, vows health head Hogan

Resource type: News

Pretoria News (South Africa) |

by Graeme Hosken Newly-appointed Health Minister Barbara Hogan will change the way South Africa combats HIV/Aids and TB. Speaking in Pretoria yesterday, Hogan said health care was a human right. “Health care is about being responsive and supportive, and providing a good service,” she said. Hogan admitted there were many challenges facing the department. “The biggest include TB and HIV/Aids, along with improving the quality and provision of our services,” she said. While highlighting the strides South Africa was making in providing antiretrovirals (ARVS) to those with HIV/Aids, Hogan said millions more were still being infected. “Our country has seen the human face of this scourge, with many young orphans resulting from the premature deaths of their parents. “We see many child-headed households, which apart from the lack of parental guidance and nurturance, face the stark reality of poverty. “They need hope – hope that rests in ability, willingness and the capacity of their government to continuously provide care, treatment and support,” she said. Hogan called on the private sector, unions and opposition parties to support the government’s health care campaign. On the TB epidemic, Hogan said: “In the interests of public health, drug-resistant TB patients need to be hospitalised until they no longer pose a threat to their families and communities. “We are aware that this disrupts their lives. We need to provide effective and caring services and ensure that patients’ experience at our health facilities is positive.” On her leadership style, Hogan said:”I am firm on transparency and accountability as South Africans have the right to know what is happening when it comes to health care.” She added that she would not play political games or make empty promises. “While medicine prices have decreased, health care costs have not. This must be addressed because we cannot have people unable to access health care because they cannot afford it,” she said. Asked about her lack of health care credentials, Hogan said: “You do not have to be a health professional to know what the problems are. “I am ‘streetwise’ and have been in Parliament long enough to see through the gloss of things. I will use my skills along with the talents of my staff to provide affordable quality health care,” she said.

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