Showdown over what medicals schemes must cover

A high-profile court showdown is looming between a medical scheme and the patient activist group, Treatment Action Campaign, as well as about a dozen other organisations. Its outcome will have significant repercussions for what schemes offer their members.
About 9 million people - about one in six South Africans - are members of medical schemes. Currently, medical schemes have to pay in full for the diagnosis, treatment and care of certain diseases. Regardless of what benefit option a member of the scheme has selected, the member has guaranteed access to a minimum level of care.

Madiba: The belated rise of an Aids activist

Mandela regretted not acting on HIV during his presidency, but he made up for it in spades.

On a balmy autumn afternoon in April 1999, at about half past three, the then 10-year-old HIV activist Nkosi Johnson was becoming increasingly restless. 

"How long are they still going to be?" he asked his adoptive mother, Gail Johnson, while rubbing his hands together and staring at the pictures of state leaders on the big white walls around him.  

Motsoaledi forms task team to probe E Cape health care

Alarming abortion procedures, lack of water and the birth of babies by cellphone lights has spurred Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi into action.

The growing health crisis in the Eastern Cape has forced Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to intervene by commissioning a five-person task team to investigate issues in the province raised by a civil society coalition.

Motsoaledi to reform private health care

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has vowed to reform the private health care system to bring down costs. Andile Makholwa examines the challenges he is up against, as there's no agreement on what needs to change 

With an almost evangelical zeal, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has been lobbying support for a national health insurance (NHI) in SA and has encouraged everyone who can, to help fix the ills in the health system.

He was on such a mission last month in Johannesburg when, addressing leaders of the SA Council of Churches, he dropped a bombshell. He claimed that private health-care groups were preparing a high court case to stop the NHI, which is still in pilot phase.

Curbing TB in SA’s prisons a priority

F THE government wants to curb the unchecked spread of tuberculosis (TB) in its prisons, it doesn’t have to look far. Paul Silver, a US prison architect living in Johannesburg, helped to reduce the TB epidemic in New York’s Rikers Island prison by constructing specially designed cells where the TB bacteria could not survive.

Namibia court in landmark HIV ruling

A court in Namibia has ruled that the southwest African country's government violated the human rights of three HIV-positive pregnant women who were forcibly sterilised while giving birth.

The women, who ranged in age between mid 20s and mid 40s, had all opted to have caesarean sections to reduce the risk of passing Aids to their babies.

But they were told by doctors in public hospitals in Namibia that they would only be eligible for surgery if they agreed to be sterilised at the same time.

ARVs effective as an HIV prevention tool

Treatment as prevention has arguably been the most significant shift in ideas around attempts to turn the tide against the HIV/Aids epidemic – and history will judge the world harshly if it fails to implement scientific findings as speedily as possible.

That was the message from speaker after speaker at the 19th International Aids Conference in Washington, DC that ended on Friday. At the global gathering, the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to prevent HIV-infected people from transmitting the virus to their sexual partners and thereby drive down the rate of new infections featured high on the agenda.

But, as usual in the Aids sphere, this was not without controversy and conflict.   

Five years to strengthen NHI foundations

Speaking at the third People’s Health Assembly at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that the first few years of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system would be dedicated to building the foundation phase.

Motsoaledi explained: “In South Africa, the next five years will be dedicated to building the foundations of the NHI system. This includes strengthening the public health system, which we have started to do.

“Practically, this means improving the management, improving the availability of medicines and other commodities, providing good quality health care, ensuring that health care providers are well trained and committed to providing the best care possible.

SPEECH: On the Gutting of the Global Fund

Published by: 
Other/ unknown/ unpublished

Remarks by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, delivered at a colloquium hosted by Yale University’s Global Health Leadership Institute and the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, on November 28, 2011.

On the Gutting of the Global Fund

World AIDS Day (WAD) 2009 Gala Dinner

World AIDS Day (WAD) 2009 marks the end of the first phase of The AIDS Consortium's two-year long stigma reduction campaign - the HEROES Campaign. This campaign has profiled prominent people and respected community figures it boasts the likes of Justice Edwin Cameron (constitutional court judge), Tender Mavundla (musician), Anne Leon (consultant), Paul Mokgethi (Reverend), Mettah Nyathi (traditional healer) - all of whom are openly living with HIV and are the chosen advocates for this phase of the campaign.

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