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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Interview: Rural doctor of the year reflects on the rutted road to quality healthcare 

Describing the rutted gravel road between Butterworth and Tafalofefe District Hospital in the Eastern Cape, Dr Bukiwe Spondo uses the word “terrible” at least eighteen times. Biénne Huisman caught up with Spondo, who was recently named rural doctor of the year, to chat about the many challenges of delivering quality healthcare services in South Africa’s rural areas.

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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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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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Feature: The complexities of traditional and medical circumcision in the Eastern Cape

While most male circumcisions performed in the Eastern Cape are done in the traditional manner, there are also significant numbers of medical male circumcisions being conducted. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports on this year’s winter initiation season in the province and the complex interplay between culture, safety, and protection against HIV involved in deciding between the two types of circumcision.

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In-depth: A tale of two make-do clinics in the rural Eastern Cape

The state of the Macacuma Clinic and the Ugie Clinic in the Eastern Cape came under the spotlight during the provincial legislature’s health committee visit from 10 to 14 October last year, when they visited several public health facilities in the Joe Gqabi District. Luvuyo Mehlwana recently went back to assess whether there has been any progress at the two facilities since the committee made its findings public.

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Too scared to come to work, nurse says amid rising security concerns at Eastern Cape health facilities

There are serious concerns over the safety of health workers at public health facilities in the Eastern Cape, with some healthcare workers saying they are scared to go to work. Although the provincial health department says it shares this concern, the department remains tight-lipped over its plans and the relevant security contracts. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to union representatives, healthcare workers, and some security personnel about the situation.

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