Still a clamp on ARVs in Free State

The Free State Health Department is denying antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to newly diagnosed AIDS patients because of financial problems. Each province receives a grant from the central government to combat HIV/AIDS. The Free State received R189 million for the 2008-2009 financial year and was under-budget on September 30, having spent R90.8 million of the allocated R94.8 million for the first six-month period. The national and provincial health departments met in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, December 10 to discuss Free State’s crisis.

The situation is critical:

  • On November 25 Sapa reported that the provincial Department of Health was postponing all non-emergency surgeries until the end of January due to financial problems.
  • The Free State health crisis comes as Harvard University has published a study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes estimating that “More than 330,000 lives or about 2.2 million person-years were lost because a feasible and timely ARV treatment programme was not implemented in South Africa.”
  • Free State Treasury spokesperson Howard Ndaba said: "We can confirm that there are challenges within the Free State Department of Health, but, as government, we are committed to finding lasting and positive solutions to this problem.”
  • ARVs are still available at private hospitals in the Free State.

    Source: Louise Flanagan, Still a clamp on ARVs in Free State, The Star, December 11, 2008.

    For text:

    For more issues on health:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 16 December 2008
Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE