HIV and TB patients that access health care services under the Ndlovu Care Group, a private medical non-profit organisation, have launched a protest over the Health Department’s decision to stop funding the organisation.
Limpopo department of health announced this week that it will no longer fund centres and non-profit organisations providing services to HIV patients across the province. It says the system is costing the department millions of rands a year.
The patients say the public health care system is not fully equipped to look after their health needs.
One of the patients spoke to the SABC explaining, “It will affect me a lot. I would rather die. I will not go to the public hospital. The service at Ndlovu is very good. They are treating us well. I started my treatment in 2000 and I am very healthy.”
The department spends just over R300 on ARVs for one patient. It costs NPO’s over R3600.
The department wants all patients to fall under its ARV rollout plan. This is to improve financial management and accountability.
Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba says pumping money into NPOs such as Ndlovu Medical Centre has proved fruitless and wasteful.
“Does the material condition on the ground allow us to continue with the system. The same with Non Profit Organisations, their contracts came to an end on 31 of March…”
Ndlovu Medical Centre has been in operation since 1994. It says it will continue to engage the department on the matter. It doesn’t believe the department has the capacity to rollout the ARV programme on its own.