In recent years it has become clear to us that many of the bottlenecks standing in the way of fixing our healthcare system are political. Often, politically appointed MECs for health simply lack the competence, commitment, or political will to address the very serious problems plaguing our healthcare system.
In response to this dynamic, TAC decided to consult widely with our members and partner organisations to develop a ‘People’s Health Manifesto’. This manifesto was informed by key concerns from the ground and contained 11 key questions that we put to political parties contesting the 2014 national elections in South Africa. 11 parties responded to our questions – including the ruling party and the official opposition. We will and are using these responses to hold these political parties accountable after the elections.
In addition, this campaign has led to increased engagement between TAC and political parties. We stress however that TAC remains independent from any political parties and our primary responsibility remains to serve the interests of our members and other users of the public healthcare system. That said, direct engagement with political parties in all provinces and at the national parliament appears a promising avenue through which to increase political accountability and to force a more proactive and committed response to the collapse of our healthcare systems.