National Health

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#NationalHealth

 

National Health Care

The challenges facing the current health care system in South Africa are bureaucratic and operational rather than clinical. Great strides have been made in the treatment of HIV and TB, infant mortality is down and the system deals with 100 million patients a year, but there is still room for much more improvement.

 

The issues from the public's perspective lie in reports of poor patient experiences due to rude staff, the inconsistent supply of medication and the distances that need to be travelled for specialist care. From the healthcare professional side, issues include under staffing, inadequate facilities, poor remuneration and general administration. The institutional and organisational machinations of public healthcare are weak in delegation, accountability and clarity of responsibility in the delivery chain.

 

  • LAND PARTY will allow state hospitals and clinics more autonomy and convert the department of health into state-funded medical funds for all. Once you reach your limit on your medical fund you will be required to go to a medical training facility for treatment, for free.

  • We will create the NHC South Africa blue print that will serve to define and uphold the standards of service which patients are legally entitled to.

  • We will guarantee that patients are seen within four hours.

  • We will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy and end mixed-sex wards by ensuring hospitals have the resources they need.

  • We will introduce the Cancer Strategy for South Africa in full by 2030 to improve the lives of people living with cancer.

  • We will end slow ambulance-response times by ensuring they have the proper resources.

  • We will deliver a truly 21st Century health system by focussing resources on services to provide healthcare closer to home.

  • We will devise a new model of healthcare that centres around communities and offers social care and mental health care as well as primary health care.

  • We will ensure the most effective new drugs and treatments are available to all NHC South Africa patients.

  • We will ensure that everyone with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, has the right to a specialised care plan and access to the knowledge they need to manage their condition effectively.

  • We will ensure that NHC South Africa reduces HIV infection by monitoring the effect of the recent programme that provides PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to high risk groups.

  • We will ensure that all NHC South Africa staff are trained to deal with the relatively new diseases affecting our aged like Alzheimers, Dementia and Parkinson's.

 

Public health

In our the South African health system, the major driver of an unusually low national life expectancy is a multi-faceted disease burden, made up of HIV/AIDS, TB, diseases related to poor nutrition and exercise habits, and trauma from violence and road accidents.

 

In order for NHC South Africa services to be sustainable in the long term we need to educate people about the various diseases and how they can avoid contracting them as well as encourage citizens to make a  commitment to keeping fit and healthy and assisting them with the knowledge and resources to do so. The LAND PARTY's primary focus will be on children’s health. By doing this we will be protecting the future well-being of the nation.

 

  • We will take action to significantly reduce infant deaths and to ensure all families who lose a baby receive appropriate bereavement support.

  • We will invest in children’s physical and mental health.

  • We will fight health inequalities to break the link between child ill-health and poverty.

  • We will measure progress against international standards by introducing a new Index of Child Health that keeps tabs on the overall standard of health of South African children against four key indicators: obesity, dental health, under-fives and mental health.

  • We will increase the number of health visitors and school nurses as part of our preventative healthcare strategy.

  • We will make a concerted effort to address poor childhood eating habits in South Africa.

  • We will remove sugar tax but will encourage companies to reduce sugar in their products.

  • We will implement a strategy for the children of alcoholics based on recommendations drawn up by independent experts.

  • We will implement a Tobacco Control Plan that focusses on mental health issues and on young smokers.

  • We will address historic public-health injustices.

  • We will hold a public enquiry into contaminated blood.

  • We will also hold a public inquiry into medicines, including Valproate, medical devices and medical products licensing and regulation.

  • We will continuously improve sexual-health services, especially HIV services which will include reducing the rates of undiagnosed and late-diagnosed HIV, ending the stigma of HIV in society, and promoting the increased availability of testing and treatment.

 

NHC staff

Many of the problems in the healthcare sector are as a result of overworked and underpaid staff who have to work in under-resourced facilities. There is also an issue that is prevalent of people who are healthcare workers entering the sector to get a job and not because they have a calling to help people.

 

The LAND PARTY believes that by investing in the well-being of healthcare workers, to improve their working and living conditions and to provide them with the skills they need to work in highly-pressurised and stressful environments and circumstances, we will be able to guarantee the best possible services and outcomes for patients.

 

  • We will ensure that all healthcare workers are well paid.

  • We will enforce a cap to the number of consecutive hours a healthcare worker can work.

  • We will put forward a long-term support plan for healthcare workers.

  • We will empower doctors by investing in their training, education and development throughout their careers.

  • We will support NHC whistleblowers to make sure health service staff are able to speak up for their rights and those of their patients without fear.

  • We will make it an aggravated criminal offence to attack NHC staff.

 

LAND PARTY’s long-term ambition is for NHC South Africa to be one of the best public health care systems in the world; for it to have highly trained staff, state-of-the-art facilities and access to modern technology that will enable the service providers to deliver quality healthcare to the people of South Africa.

 

NHC funding

  • We will introduce a new Budget Responsibility Office for Health to scrutinise and oversee health spending.

  • We will halt and review the National Health Insurance (NHI) implemented by the ANC.

  • We will establish a Healthcare Sustainability commission to investigate health services across South Africa and involve local people in devising plans which focus on patient needs rather than available finances.

MENTAL HEALTH

The state of mental health in South Africa is shocking. As many as one in six South Africans suffer from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems (and this does not include more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia). Over 40% of people living with HIV in South Africa have a diagnosable mental disorder. In low-income and informal settlements surrounding Cape Town, one in three women suffer from postnatal depression, while research from rural KwaZulu-Natal shows that 41% of pregnant women are depressed. When crime and motor-vehicle accidents are taken into consideration, up to 6 million South Africans could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  

 

Considering the fact that these figures do not take into account the many people who don’t know where to go to get help, or are too scared to seek it, mental ill-health is probably our biggest unaddressed health challenge. Despite the acute need, South Africa’s mental healthcare resources are completely unequipped to handle the demand. Less than 16% of sufferers receive treatment and there are only 18 beds for every 100 000 people available in appropriate hospitals (and only 1% of these are reserved for children and adolescents!).

 

The current government is doing very little to deal with mental health challenges and so the burden falls on community-based providers. Clinics, support groups, lay counsellors and community leaders are having to step in when institutionalised help is not available. In addition to a lack of resources, stigmas surrounding mental health pose a major stumbling block when it comes to treating the disease in South Africa. In Zulu there is not even a word for ‘depression’. It is not considered a real illness in African culture. As a result, sufferers are afraid of being discriminated against or disowned by their families should they admit to having a problem. There is still the perception that someone with a mental illness is crazy, dangerous or weak.

 

LAND PARTY believes that the nature of the mental health situation in the South African context requires a uniquely South African solution. We need an approach to dealing with our country’s mental health issues that incorporates both western medicine and traditional healing. Traditional healers can play a significant role in addressing the cultural belief systems at play in order to find ways to best help patients and their families.

 

  • We will immediately invest in training to ensure that traditional healers, local nurses, counsellors and coaches who are at the forefront of fighting mental illness have the skills they need to deal with this pandemic.

  • We will actively campaign for any citizens wanting to help their communities with counselling to apply for free training.

  • We will implement policies that ensure there is a general increase in awareness about mental health issues and a vigorous and ongoing programme to educate the public about mental health issues in order to encourage more people to share their diagnoses and seek help.

  • We will ring-fence mental health budgets and ensure that finances are reaching the front line.

  • We will stop people from being sent to facilities hundreds of kilometres away from their families and support networks for treatment.

  • We will ensure that there are no out-of-area placements to avert another national crisis like Life Esidimeni.

  • We will also bring an end to the neglect of children’s mental health by providing special facilities for under 18's only.

  • We will invest in early intervention programmes by increasing the proportion of the mental health budget allocated to young people.

  • We will ensure that access to a counselling service is available for all children.

  • We will incorporate alternative therapies in the services we offer as patients who receive their therapy of choice tend to have better outcomes.

  • We will establish the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to evaluate the potential for increasing the range of evidence-based psychological therapies on offer.

 

Mental health is as important as physical health and in South Africa, because of our traumatic history and the inequality and violence we have had to live with, we have people with a range of mental health issues from alcoholism to schizophrenia. We need to do everything we can to help these people heal or manage their illnesses so that they are no longer isolated and are also given an opportunity to contribute to their communities and their country.

#VOTELANDPARTY

 

Vision

The LAND PARTY shall:

 

Through pragmatic and progressive economic policy, individual freedom, and in harmony with nature, establish a prosperous society of people based on social justice and shared opportunities.

 

Freedom doesn’t equal immediate wealth, but we believe that it is better to live in an environment where you are provided with the freedom to create your own wealth, even though you might make some mistakes along the way.

 

The more rules and regulations you have, the less important it becomes for people to distinguish between what is right and wrong. We want to give people the opportunity to have that freedom, and to make mistakes and learn from them. We want to provide them the support, education and resources necessary to become wealthy through hard work and effective use of the opportunities that will be made available to them through a Land-led government. Our ultimate plan is to reform, open up and strengthen the economy by providing people with the individual freedom and opportunities to become prosperous and actively contributing members of society.

Values

The LAND PARTY subscribes to the following values in all its endeavours:

 

  1. Respect for the community of life

  2. Honesty

  3. Integrity

  4. Trust

  5. Consultation

  6. Solidarity

  7. Dignity

Mission

The LAND PARTY seeks to reorder the political and economic institutions and systems domestically and globally.

 

We have to deal with the damage from the years of government corruption we have had to endure. We will broadly seek to reform, open up and grow the economy, eradicate poverty, opportunities for all the people of South Africa to become wealthy and self-sustainable, skills development, gender equality, safety and research. It will establish programmes that will ensure that within the first 2 years of taking power that the following is achieved:

 

  1. Food security - encouraging modern, scientific agricultural practices, and providing the necessary support, technological resources, scientific research and education to encourage people to get involved in agriculture with the ultimate goal of strengthening the economy while eliminating food wastage and the discarding of surplus produce.

  2. Housing security - where private property rights are strengthened, allocation of state resources are dealt with strategically through referendum and homes are designed to people’s specifications.

  3. People development - Education that is ongoing, progressive and emphasizing the reconstruction and development of family and service to society. Creating and maintaining skills development for a move to modern technology and science.

  4. A modern, technologically savvy supportive state that responds to the people’s legitimate demand for prosperity and opportunity creation.

  5. Crime eradication and all forms of deviance through social interventions, corrective rehabilitation and victim oriented punishment.

  6. Economic prosperity through freedom of opportunity so that people become self-sustainable and wealthy, and through free trade agreements, and rapid industrialization. Allocation of state resources shall be utilized in a rational, consultative and inclusive manner with due regard to the dictates of justice and equal opportunity. It shall reconfigure the banking system to be more people-centred.

  7. Foreign policy that is people-centred, educative and principled.

  8. Environmental Justice – ensuring all programmes are in harmony with nature and conscious of the limited capacity of the planet to sustain us.

  9. Human Rights - Implementation of the remaining rights encapsulated in the current South African Bill of Rights and other universally respected HR documents which shall be prioritized by public participation. Apportion justice and material resources on an equitable and just basis.