12 December 2007

More for Aids, TB: budget statement

The medium-term budget policy statement allocates more money to HIV/Aids grants as well as drug-resistant strains of TB.

Just over R2 billion is to be added to the comprehensive HIV/Aids grant to provinces over the next three years.

According to the medium-term budget policy statement, the amount will bring spending on the programme to R9.8 billion over the period.

It also said an additional R1.6 billion had been set aside for the provinces's hospital revitalisation programme.

This brought spending on the programmes to R9.2 billion over the next three years.

Budget targets drug-resistant TB
The government is setting aside more cash to deal with drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis.

The next three years will see a scaled-up response to multi drug-resistant TB and extensive drug-resistant TB.

Government's spending plans will provide for improved detection and surveillance systems, and specialised in-patient treatment hospitals in all provinces.

"Facilities will be provided to isolate and treat these patients for a period of six months in hospital, with 18 months of follow-up treatment, including regular laboratory testing," the statement said.

In addition, an extra R400 million has been earmarked in the current financial year for treatment and prevention.

There has been a great deal of publicity in South Africa over the drug-resistant strains of the disease, and the number of diagnosed cases.

TB experts point out, however, that the diagnosed cases represent only a fraction of the pool of drug-resistant cases in the community.

They have urged the government to review the way it treats TB, to empower patients and ensure better compliance, which in turn would decrease the risk of drug resistance.

Overall health spending is set to grow by an annual average 11.4 percent up to and including the 2010/11 financial year. – (Sapa)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.