Dr Kenneth Jacobs was elected chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health last month. Biénne Huisman chatted to Jacobs about National Health Insurance, the role of Parliament, working with the Stormers rugby team, and his own background and journey to serving as chair of such an important parliamentary committee.
The already battered image of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has taken another blow with its recently appointed registrar Dr David Motau this week appearing in court in connection with alleged corrupt payments amounting to R8.7 million relating to his time as head of the Free State Health Department. Ufrieda Ho reports.
While the Digital Vibes scandal has no doubt presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with a massive headache, it has also presented him with an opportunity. In appointing a new Minister of Health, he can set South Africa’s COVID-19 response on a sounder footing. We should soon know whether this is an opportunity he is ready to take, writes Spotlight editor Marcus Low.
After the 2019 elections, new MECs for Health (provincial ministers) were appointed in four of South Africa’s nine provinces. Less than two years later, three of the four are no longer in their jobs, writes Marcus Low.
For all the suffering and death the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over the last 12 months, it has arguably also provided a unique opportunity to test some of the mechanisms behind South Africa’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system. The centralised procurement of vaccines and the contracting of doctors, for example, are probably not dissimilar from the arrangements we might see under NHI. Kathryn Cleary asks three leading health experts what lessons, for NHI, we should learn from the COVID-19 response.