COVID-19 blamed for shortcomings of ‘ideal clinics’ in Free State  

COVID-19 blamed for shortcomings of ‘ideal clinics’ in Free State  

There are 83 clinics – down from 153 in 2018/19 – in the Free State with Ideal Clinic status, meaning they have adequate staff, infrastructure, and medicines, among others. For many primary health facilities, this accreditation status is crucial for the National Health Insurance, however, some of these ideal clinics still have various shortcomings. Refilwe Mochoari reports.  

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NHI Lawmakers: Interview with FF Plus MP Philip van Staden

NHI Lawmakers: Interview with FF Plus MP Philip van Staden

On being a member of Parliament, Philip van Staden from the Freedom Front Plus says he is living his childhood dream. Biénne Huisman spoke to him about his career in politics, his thoughts on national health insurance, his passion for the health portfolio, and his time as a member of the Gauteng Legislature after the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

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ANALYSIS: NHI Bill – clause-by-clause headbutting begins in Parliament

ANALYSIS: NHI Bill – clause-by-clause headbutting begins in Parliament

In what is expected to become a verbal minefield littered with the usual ideological quips, the members of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health this week started the clause-by-clause deliberations on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. Alicestine October assesses the first leg of the deliberations and issues set to pop up in the next round of deliberations, starting with clause 5 of the Bill next week.

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Opinion: District hospitals will be key to NHI, empower them

Opinion: District hospitals will be key to NHI, empower them

The successful implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI) will rely heavily on effective governance at district level. The NHI Bill correctly identifies district hospitals as key during the early transitional NHI phases. Failing to capacitate them for the challenges ahead could prove disastrous, argues Russell Rensburg and Claire Botha.

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Opinion: Reframing the right to healthcare in terms of insurance cover is a bad idea

Opinion: Reframing the right to healthcare in terms of insurance cover is a bad idea

Framing the fundamental human right to healthcare as insurance cover opens it up for exploitation. It blocks any possibility of achieving equity in health care. Here Dr Louis Reynolds from the People’s Health Movement of South Africa explains why and how.

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NHI lawmakers: Face to Face with DA MP Michele Clarke

NHI lawmakers: Face to Face with DA MP Michele Clarke

Michele Clarke recently took over the reins from Siviwe Gwarube as the Democratic Alliance’s health spokesperson and is no stranger to the hotbed of parliamentary politics. Bienne Huisman sat down with her to discuss taking up her new role amid ongoing deliberations on the NHI Bill in Parliament.

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OPINION: What the Law Reform Commission’s proposals on medico-legal cases can mean for claimants

OPINION: What the Law Reform Commission’s proposals on medico-legal cases can mean for claimants

The South African Law Reform Commission recently published its discussion paper on medico-legal claims. Baone Twala unpacks the Commission’s proposals on law reform and what it may mean for claimants and the government. 

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In-depth: Top 10 health issues to watch in 2022

In-depth: Top 10 health issues to watch in 2022

COVID-19 will continue to dominate headlines in 2022, but from National Health Insurance to the availability of a new HIV prevention injection, it will also be an important year for other areas of health service delivery and for health system governance and reforms. Here is Spotlight’s pick of the top ten issues to keep an eye on.

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Health in 2021: Another tumultuous year in under a thousand words

Health in 2021: Another tumultuous year in under a thousand words

It wasn’t rocket science when we predicted at the start of 2021 that South Africa’s biggest challenge this year would be to get COVID-19 shots into as many arms as possible. But the way it has played out with multiple setbacks and scrambling problem-solving is not something anyone could have predicted. In fewer than a thousand words, Spotlight editor Marcus Low takes a look back at a tumultuous year in health in South Africa.

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In-depth: Is government ready to invest in mental health?

In-depth: Is government ready to invest in mental health?

Mental health does not have its own ring-fenced budget and given huge inefficiencies in our mental health spending, we need to be strategic on where and how we spend the little we have. Alicestine October unpacks what a new government-commissioned mental health investment case framework can mean for access to equitable and quality mental health services in the country. 

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Staff shortages and long waiting times plague KZN health, report finds

Staff shortages and long waiting times plague KZN health, report finds

While KwaZulu-Natal is doing comparatively well on key HIV indicators, the public healthcare system in the province is plagued by staff shortages, long waiting times, poor tuberculosis infection control, and in some cases, dysfunctional filing systems. This is according to a new report from community-led monitoring group Ritshidze. Elri Voigt reports.

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OPINION: Reflections on a budget of ‘unmet expectations’

OPINION: Reflections on a budget of ‘unmet expectations’

Budgets alone do not solve structural issues, but what it does is provide some insight into the government’s plans for addressing its broader developmental priorities. Russel Rensburg unpacks what the medium-term budget policy statement means for the health sector.

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