Doctors Urged to Support
African Press Association (Johannesburg)
March 20, 2003
Posted to the web March 20, 2003
Medical doctors on Thursday were
encouraged to support a civil disobedience campaign to lobby
for the creation of a national HIV/Aids treatment plan.
The SA Medical Association (SAMA) came
out in full support of the protest, initiated by the Aids drug
lobby group Treatment Action Campaign.
In a statement, SAMA said its chairman
Dr Kgosi Letlape "encourages doctors to support the TAC's
campaign, and participate should they wish to do so. However,
he emphasised that doctors' participation should not
compromise patient care in any way".
The TAC campaign is to start on Friday,
Human Rights Day. The group has said it would be prepared to
break laws and risk arrest to drive its point across.
Letlape said doctors could not accept
the government's policy of not providing anti-retroviral
treatment (ART) to HIV-positive people.
"While government is slow in
approving policies on ART, doctors should stand up for the
health of their patients."
Doctors were part of the fight against
HIV/Aids, and it was their duty to tell others where they
stand, Letlape said.