Mortuaries no longer big business, says Aaron Motsoaledi

2014-02-18 12:11

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Some years ago, if you wanted to make money, you'd open a mortuary. Fortunately this is no longer the case, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said.

Motsoaledi told journalists in Parliament this morning that the tide of deaths because of HIV- and Aids-related illnesses is turning, but there was still a lot of work to be done.

"The hills we still have to climb are many more than the hills we have already climbed," he said.

"I am always asked why I talk about HIV and Aids," he said. "Nothing has changed life in South Africa like this."

Motsoaledi said because of HIV- and Aids-related illnesses, the death rate in South Africa has doubled in nine years, something which normally only happens when a country is at war.

But, he said, hospices that used to be full are now closing, and the number of babies born with HIV have gone down from 70 000 to 8 000.

Motsoaledi also gave an update on government's National Health Insurance pilot scheme, saying in the next five years, 213 new clinics would be built and 870 would be refurbished.

Some clinics, he said, were damaged beyond repair. Motsoaledi said the refurbishment of prototype clinics that would be sought after by people for treatment, started with the installation of generators.

Read: What you can expect from the health department’s dream clinic

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