The Free State health system has been in crisis for several years. This province faces more stockouts of essential medicines and supplies than any other province. Each day there are new reports of patients facing inadequate, often undignified and inhumane, and sometimes altogether suspended services. However, the Free State provincial government continues to deny there is a crisis.
In order to expose the truth in the province today and tomorrow (7th and 8th July) an independent commission of inquiry will conduct public hearings into the state of public healthcare in the Free State. You can watch the proceedings live here. In addition you can follow @TAC on twitter using #FSHealth.
An issue statement that will be presented to the commission from the Treatment Action Campaign outlining the problems we have witnessed in the province is available here.
The commission consists of three independent commissioners: Bishop Paul Verryn (formerly of the Johannesburg Central Methodist Church), Thembeka Gwagwa, and Thokozile Madonko (of the Alternative Information and Development Centre).
The inquiry will investigate the real situation in the province, it will hear the voices of healthcare providers and users of the system, and offer solutions to reverse the collapse of the healthcare system of which mostly poor people depend and rely. In preparation a series of community consultations have been held with users of the public healthcare system in May 2015. People from 13 different communities across the province will testify about their experiences in accessing healthcare through the public sector. Various doctors and healthcare worker groups have also been invited to make submissions to the commission.
For more information and to arrange interviews please contact: