Criminalisation of medical errors: What are the issues?

Criminalisation of medical errors: What are the issues?

The South African Medical Association has for years raised concerns about the criminalisation of medical errors, stressing that current legal practices may undermine patient safety and deter doctors from performing high-risk procedures. Spotlight’s Thabo Molelekwa investigates.

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Why affirming treatment for gender questioning youth matters in SA

Gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth has sparked intense debate globally. In South Africa, we need to significantly improve accessibility throughout the country, ensure services are well-resourced, include trained healthcare providers skilled in gender affirming care, and offer comprehensive care that integrates mental health and social services, write Jenna-Lee de Beer-Procter and Pierre Brouard, on behalf of fellow board members of the Professional Association for Transgender Health South Africa.

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A tree with branches made of the HIV Aids ribbon and HIV prevention injection falling down from it.

#InTheSpotlight | HIV prevention injections exist, but hardly anyone can get them

HIV prevention injections have been registered for use in South Africa, but their high price and limited supply means that for the next few years, while awaiting more affordable generics, very few people will be able to get the jabs. In this Spotlight special briefing, Catherine Tomlinson looks at the difficult choices facing the country if we want to offer the injection to more people more quickly. The calls we make could have global implications.

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Declare TB a National Emergency poster. PHOTO: GCIS

Analysis: SA close to meeting TB research funding targets, but most countries falling short

South Africa is one of only six countries to ever meet their “fair share target” for funding tuberculosis (TB) research, according to a new report. In absolute terms however, South Africa’s contribution is small change compared to investments into TB research made by the top two contributors, the United States government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks what the report tells us about investment in TB research in South Africa.

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Baby in hospital crib

Antibiotic slashes risk of drug-resistant TB in kids, finds major SA study

Tuberculosis (TB) preventive therapy has been transformed in recent years, with treatment duration having been cut from six or more months to just three or one. Progress in developing new treatments to prevent drug-resistant forms of TB has however lagged behind, especially in children. Elri Voigt unpacks findings from a major new TB prevention study presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health last week and plans for another important preventive therapy trial set to start soon.

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TB activist Phumeza Tisile standing in front of posters that read "unmask stigma"

Interview: “Someone had to do it”, says SA TB activist on Time 100 list

At the age of 19 Phumeza Tisile contracted multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. For four years she battled the disease, losing her hearing in the process. At one stage, a doctor told her to visit a priest and prepare her soul for death. Recently, Tisile (now 33) made it on to TIME magazine’s 2023 TIME100 Next list, as one of 100 emerging leaders round the world who are “shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership”. Sue Segar chatted to Tisile about her remarkable journey.

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Growing the beta variant – young scientist remembers the day they danced in the lab

During South Africa’s COVID-19 hard lockdown, rising star scientist Dr Sandile Cele spent his Christmas holidays in a laboratory. Soon the 35-year-old became the first to successfully grow the beta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the lab. Biénne Huisman spoke to Cele about how he did this, the string of accolades he received since, and his leap from a modest upbringing to the global scientific stage.

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MUST READ | An HIV injection can bolster prevention efforts in SA, but its rollout remains delayed. Why is this the case?

Find out in our newsletter, which also features an article on affirming treatment for gender questioning youth: https://tinyurl.com/uy2yasrn

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Although people in South Africa who were vaccinated against smallpox are already protected against monkeypox, the health department is set to vaccinate four groups of people - men who have sex with men, sex workers, health and lab workers - against the mpox virus.

Though not that serious for most people, flu can be severe and life-threatening, especially in the old and very young.

Read our flu guide: https://mailchi.mp/spotlightnsp/the-return-of-flu-we-bring-you-a-guide-in-this-weeks-spotlight-newsletter

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The Spotlight Podcast
The Spotlight Podcast
Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights
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  • Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights

    Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights

    Aug 23, 2018 • 23:42

    In this first episode of the Spotlight podcast host Nomatter Ndebele speaks to Dr Daphney Conco of Wits about what SRHR is and why it matters. We also hear from Vuyokazi Gonyela of TAC about their SRHR work in provinces. Finally, Nomatter chats to Spotlight guest editor Thuthu Mbatha about…

  • Episode 2: Life Esidimeni revisited

    Episode 2: Life Esidimeni revisited

    Aug 28, 2018 • 1:00:42

    In episode 2 we catch up with the processes around the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Christine Nxumalo discusses what further action the families are hoping for. Tendai Mafuma provides fascinating insights into the prospects for criminal liability. Mark Heywood gives his views on the politics surrounding the case and what that…

  • Episode 3: Sasha Stevenson on what NHI and HMI  means for healthcare reform in South Africa

    Episode 3: Sasha Stevenson on what NHI and HMI means for healthcare reform in South Africa

    Oct 5, 2018 • 00:18:53

    At a recent civil society meeting jointly hosted by SECTION27 and Spotlight, Sasha Stevenson, head of health at SECTION27, presented on the implications of NHI and HMI for access to healthcare in South Africa. We now make her informative and thought-provoking presentation available as a podcast. (We apologise for the…

  • Episode 4: Marijuana, health and the law in South Africa

    Episode 4: Marijuana, health and the law in South Africa

    Dec 7, 2018 • 18:41

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Dr Michael Herbst of the Cancer Association of South Africa about the landmark Constitutional Court judgement on the possession and use of marijuana and the judgement’s implications for the health of people in South Africa.

  • Episode 5: Dr Fareed Abdullah on South Africa’s  AIDS response

    Episode 5: Dr Fareed Abdullah on South Africa’s AIDS response

    Dec 14, 2018 • 22:26

    Dr Fareed Abdullah of the SA MRC, previously CEO of SANAC, recently addressed the TAC’s 20-year celebrations. Listen what he had to say about the history of South Africa’s AIDS response and where we are now.

  • Episode 6: Justice Edwin Cameron addresses the  TAC 20-year celebrations

    Episode 6: Justice Edwin Cameron addresses the TAC 20-year celebrations

    Dec 14, 2018 • 13:14

    Justice Edwin Cameron of South Africa’s Constitutional Court recently addressed attendees at the TAC’s 20-year celebrations. We bring you a recording of what he had to say to TAC members, supporters and allies.

  • Episode 7: Lotti Rutter on PEPFAR funding and why we need a People’s COP

    Episode 7: Lotti Rutter on PEPFAR funding and why we need a People’s COP

    Jul 25, 2019 • 24:10

    Nomatter Ndebele chats to Lotti Rutter of HealthGAP about what the People’s COP is and why it matters.

  • Episode 8: How South Africa is performing against key NSP indicators

    Episode 8: How South Africa is performing against key NSP indicators

    Jul 25, 2019 • 19:30

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Spotlight editor Marcus Low about South Africa’s progress against key NSP indicators.

  • Episode 9: Rensburg on healthcare reform in South Africa

    Episode 9: Rensburg on healthcare reform in South Africa

    Jul 25, 2019 • 27:36

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to RHAP director Russell Rensburg about the major reforms underway in the South African healthcare system.

  • Episode 10: Siphiwe Mhlangana on the Treatment Action Campaign’s treatment literacy work

    Episode 10: Siphiwe Mhlangana on the Treatment Action Campaign’s treatment literacy work

    Jul 25, 2019 • 21:15

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Siphiwe Mhlangana of the TAC about his treatment literacy work and why treatment literacy still matters.

Spotlight subscribes to the Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African Print and Online Media that prescribes news that is truthful, accurate, fair and balanced. If we don’t live up to the Code, within 20 days of the date of publication of the material, please contact the Public Advocate at 011 484 3612, fax: 011 484 3619. You can also contact the Press Council’s Case Officer on khanyim@ombudsman.org.za or lodge a complaint on their website: www.presscouncil.org.za