STANDING up for the people, free of party lines and his own personal views, is what Joseph Masika is about.
An Order of Australia recipient, White Ribbon ambassador and doctor of medicine and public health, Dr Masika has launched his bid for an upper house seat in the SA Parliament as an independent candidate.
An esteemed and honoured member of the Australian African community, he said his reasons for running for parliament were simple but very important.
He is passionate about many issues that affect South Australians but is especially committed to improving the State's health care system.
"I believe we need a health system in SA that meets the needs of all South Australians," he said.
"The State's health system is the lifeblood of our community and it is time we have someone to stand up for patients and consumers, health care staff, and all those trying to improve the standard of health care in our State.
"If cuts need to be made, they should not be made here."
Dr Masika was particularly worried about health services in regional areas.
"In the last few years we have seen small community based and primary healthcare services lose funding and be forced to shut the doors on the communities they service."
Through his professional and community involvement Dr Masika has been greatly alarmed by continued government cuts to funding in critical areas of health.
"How can our most vulnerable young people achieve positive health outcomes if the capacity of services such as The Second Story are being continually eroded? And when does it stop?".
Cuts in women's primary health care services, hospital services and health promotion also concern the candidate.
"The cuts and closures must stop."