Health Department upgrade.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Administrative agencies (Health policy)
Administrative agencies (Services)
AIDS (Disease) (Care and treatment)
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: South African Medical Journal Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0256-9574
Issue: Date: Nov, 2008 Source Volume: 98 Source Issue: 11
Topic: Event Code: 970 Government domestic functions; 360 Services information
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 204550823
Full Text: The precipitate departure of Thabo Mbeki from the president's office has had immediate and profound effects for the National Department of Health, and it is to be hoped for the health of the people of our country. The court judgment that provided the impetus for Mbeki's opposition in the ANC to oust him included a damning account of interference in the affairs of institutions, for a fair share of which the Health Department was responsible. Professor Peter Folb, who was chairman of the Medicines Control Council, was fired for refusing to register Virodene, a toxic solvent peddled as a treatment for HIV that had been presented to the cabinet, no less. More recently the instruments of democracy in the health field, the Health Councils (e.g. HPCSA, Nursing), the Medicines Control Council and the Medical Research Council, have been eviscerated of independent minds and packed with political patronage. AIDS denialism and support of AIDS dissents have done serious damage to the health of the people, the morale of health professionals and the reputation of the country. Public health services and facilities have failed dismally due to poor leadership and mismanagement.

The Editor, Professor Dan Ncayiyana, recounts some of the shame that the country endured during this period, (1) and Chris Bateman, SAMJ news editor, reports on the hope that health professionals have expressed with the appointment of the new Minister of Health and her deputy. (2)
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.