EDITORIAL: With elections and NHI, this is a big year for healthcare in SA

EDITORIAL: With elections and NHI, this is a big year for healthcare in SA

South Africa is barrelling towards its most consequential and most competitive national and provincial elections since 1994. Spotlight editor Marcus Low asks what is on the line in these elections from a healthcare perspective and argues that the stakes are particularly high when it comes to NHI and the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provincial health departments.

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Opinion: We can’t simply close dental facilities during the festive period

Opinion: We can’t simply close dental facilities during the festive period

The closure of some public sector oral health clinics in the Eastern Cape over the festive period is deeply concerning, having left some patients with nowhere to go. A comprehensive plan must be put in place for efficient management and referral of emergency oral healthcare cases during this time and we must ensure that people who need the services are aware of how to access them, argues Dr Bulela Vava.

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Funding shortfall and poor roads to blame for ambulance woes, says Eastern Cape Health Dept

Funding shortfall and poor roads to blame for ambulance woes, says Eastern Cape Health Dept

Some residents in the Eastern Cape have been left frustrated by delays or outright lack of response by Emergency Medical Services in the province. This is in part caused by a chronic shortage of ambulances and paramedics. Recent labour disputes have further complicated the situation. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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Interview: “I’m doing it with my whole heart”, says SA’s rural nurse of the year

Interview: “I’m doing it with my whole heart”, says SA’s rural nurse of the year

Nosiphiwo Gunuza from Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape was the first college graduate in her family and is their sole breadwinner. The 43-year-old health worker was recently crowned South Africa’s Rural Nurse of the Year. Biénne Huisman caught up with Gunuza.

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Questions asked as Gauteng Health sources food from Limpopo

Questions asked as Gauteng Health sources food from Limpopo

The Gauteng Department of Health has struggled this year to ensure that patients in the province’s hospitals always have the food they need. Now a decision to source food for Gauteng hospitals via a government contract in Limpopo is raising eyebrows. Thabo Molelekwa reports.

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Surgery backlog in Northern Cape getting worse

Surgery backlog in Northern Cape getting worse

The surgical backlog in the Northern Cape appears to have ballooned in recent months. The province’s MEC for health says it is due to a lack of specialised theatre staff and delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Refilwe Mochoari reports on the latest figures and asks what the Northern Cape Department of Health is planning to do about the situation.

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Mixed feelings on NHI aired at Eastern Cape hearing

Mixed feelings on NHI aired at Eastern Cape hearing

Concerns around corruption and whether or not there would be health coverage for foreign nationals were two of the top talking points at a recent public hearing on the National Health Insurance Bill held in the Eastern Cape. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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In-depth: Will Eastern Cape Health reforms survive the change in leadership?

In-depth: Will Eastern Cape Health reforms survive the change in leadership?

The Eastern Cape Department of Health have for years made headlines for the wrong reasons. A few weeks prior to her recent removal as head of the department, Dr Rolene Wagner made the case that the situation is being turned around. Tiyese Jeranji looks back at Wagner’s presentation at the Rural Health Conference in Chintsa and asks whether the reforms will continue in her absence.

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Mabuyane under fire for moving Eastern Cape head of health

Mabuyane under fire for moving Eastern Cape head of health

Some health activists and health professionals this week slammed as disruptive and nonsensical Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s decision to ‘second’ the head of health in the province, Dr Rolene Wagner, to a special unit in his office. Many have expressed concern over the impact this may have on providing health services, but Mabuyane insists his decision will not impact service delivery. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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Hospital histories: Sizwe, where lives have been saved since Joburg’s earliest days

Hospital histories: Sizwe, where lives have been saved since Joburg’s earliest days

For the past 128 years, a hospital tucked away on what was once a rural farm in Johannesburg East has been fighting to turn the tables on a disease that has plagued humankind for millennia. Ufrieda Ho has the latest in Spotlight’s special series of ‘Hospital Histories’.

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Mixed reactions over Gauteng jobs campaign and what it may mean for health

Mixed reactions over Gauteng jobs campaign and what it may mean for health

In June, the Gauteng government launched a major employment drive called Nasi iSpani. Thabo Molelekwa spoke to stakeholders in the public health sector about what this may mean for the province’s chronic healthcare worker shortages.

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Concerns raised at public health conference over freezing of healthcare worker posts

Concerns raised at public health conference over freezing of healthcare worker posts

The National Treasury’s Cost Containment Letter sent to government departments instructing, among others, the freezing of posts was one of the big themes underlying talks about building South Africa’s healthcare worker capacity at the Public Health Association of South Africa’s conference held recently in Gqeberha. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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