Mbeki commends South African health workers on racism

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- President Thabo Mbeki has commended South African health workers for standing up against racism in the sector.
Speaking at the maiden National Health Summit Monday night, Mbeki said the dismantling of racial barriers had helped rid the country of some of the "most obvious inefficiencies of the apartheid era".
"We have de-racialised our health care institutions and this too has enhanced access to care," he said.
He said in 1994, the government set out for a fundamental change in the nation's health care delivery.
"Another bold strategic direction was the decision to introduce primary health care as the founding philosophy of our health system.
"At the heart of primary health care is the notion of development - which implies recognising the importance of those determinants of health that lie outside the health sector," Mbeki said, adding that this implied "recognising the significant contribution that service users can make to health, both as individuals and communities.
" However, he, said there was still a lot to be done to get rid of the legacies of the apartheid era.
"Our attitudes and, at times, the obstacles we place in the paths of others, betray the incomplete liberation of our souls," the President declared, saying that the challenge is to break through these bounds of racial and class isolation, and question the conditions that give rise to racial stereotypes.

20 november 2001 11:10:00

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