Health Minister cycles for better healthcare

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pretoria - Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will on Saturday participate in a 240km Aspen Trans Karoo mountain bike challenge as part of an ambitious project to raise funds for under-privileged children who do not have access to quality healthcare services.

The initiative was started in honour of the late son of First Rand CEO Sizwe Nxasana whose son, Sizwe Nxasana Jnr, passed away in February this year, at a tender age of 20 following ill-health.

Speaking ahead of the event, Motsoaledi said there was an urgent need for public-private partnerships in addressing the shortage of paediatric challenges facing South Africa.

"The challenges confronting us are huge and government alone cannot adequately address them, we are glad that Aspen Pharmacare have identified this gap and are sharing our vision of ensuring that all children, regardless of their socio-economic status have access to quality paediatric care in our country," said Motsoaledi.

He added that every effort must be made to ensure that future generations are provided with healthcare facilities that meet their needs - irrespective of their economic or social background.

"The Trust will demonstrate the support of local and international businesses alike towards caring for children who have previously not had access to specialist medical services, it is hoped that this is the start of a closer co-operation between the public and private sectors in providing improved healthcare for all."

The race will be led by Aspen CEO Stephen Saad who equally expressed the need for private-public partnerships in ensuring access to quality healthcare for all South Africans.

"Through this initiative (establishment of The Trust), we hope to raise awareness and establish a paediatric trust - the Sifiso Nxasana Paediatric Trust for the Children of Africa that will assist in providing care for the underprivileged children," said Saad.

The mountain bike challenge to start at the Ezelfontein Farm, Ceres will be attended by Sizwe Nxasana Snr, and senior executives of the Northern Cape Tourism Authority including the Chairperson of the Agency Karel Phantela and its CEO Sharon Lewis.