Analysis: Eastern Cape needs mental health services, gets mostly empty promises

Analysis: Eastern Cape needs mental health services, gets mostly empty promises

In recent years there have been various reports with damning findings on the state of mental healthcare services in the Eastern Cape. Luvuyo Mehlwana and Alicestine October assess what has and what hasn’t changed after recommendations from the Public Protector, the Health Ombud, the PSC, and the HSRC, and almost as many undertakings in response by the Eastern Cape Department of Health.

Read More

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.

Read More

Life Esidimeni Inquest: Journal of a grieving sister

Life Esidimeni Inquest: Journal of a grieving sister

The Life Esidimeni Inquest that started in July has been postponed until 15 November. This is the fifth postponement, meaning another agonising wait for family members of the deceased. The Inquest is crucial to determine who should be held criminally liable for the deaths of 144 mental healthcare users in 2016. Here one family member, Christine Nxumalo, shares in her own words some extracts from her journal on the Inquest proceedings, the long wait, and dealing with grief.

Read More

Eastern Cape health services hamstrung by staff and medicine shortages, report finds

Eastern Cape health services hamstrung by staff and medicine shortages, report finds

Findings of a clinic monitoring report released last week, again highlighted how delivery of health services in the Eastern Cape are hamstrung by staff and medicine shortages. Luvuyo Mehlwana unpacks the data and the provincial health department’s plans to address the challenges identified in the report.

Read More

Big Acts, little access: The disconnect between SA’s abortion policies and women’s lived realities

Big Acts, little access: The disconnect between SA’s abortion policies and women’s lived realities

Since the enactment of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOP Act) in 1996, there has been a significant disconnect between the official policy on safe abortion and its implementation. The situation has worsened with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and access to abortion services is now severely limited, write Boitumelo Masipa and Thembi Mahlathi.

Read More

In-depth: The incredibly long wait for gender-affirming surgery for those who can’t pay

In-depth: The incredibly long wait for gender-affirming surgery for those who can’t pay

Already very long waiting times for gender-affirming surgery in South Africa’s public sector have gotten even longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tiyese Jeranji investigates the challenges transgender persons in the country face in accessing gender-affirming care.

Read More

In-depth: What happens to people in SA who have rare diseases?

In-depth: What happens to people in SA who have rare diseases?

Little is known about the number of people in South Africa who are living with rare diseases. In fact, there is no recognised definition for rare disease in the country, contributing to inadequate record-keeping and very little data on prevalence, treatment options, and support structures. Laura Owings reports.

Read More

Transport issues putting brakes on vaccination efforts in rural Free State

Transport issues putting brakes on vaccination efforts in rural Free State

In the Free State as a whole, roughly 16 COVID-19 jabs have been administered for every 100 people. In the province’s rural districts, the number is closer to one for every 100. Refilwe Mochoari spoke to a nursing union, some organisations on the ground, and the Free State Department of Health to get the full picture.

Read More

What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

After making damning findings on the conditions of some Eastern Cape Hospitals, the Deputy Public Protector recommended several changes the provincial health department had to implement within 60 days. The report was published on 30 June this year. Halfway through the 60 days, people still have mixed feelings about their hospital visits and the provincial health department has little to say about what they’ve done to implement the recommended changes.

Read More