Shortages of healthcare workers are contributing to long waiting times at healthcare facilities, poor treatment adherence, and are undermining the response to HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in the Free State, findings in a new report show. Refilwe Mochoari attended the launch of the report and asked the Free State Department of Health for its response.
Seven years after over 100 community health workers were arrested during a vigil at the provincial health department’s headquarters, Bophelo House, the struggles of community healthcare workers in the Free State continue as they are still calling for job security. Refilwe Mochoari reports.
On 20 May Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela announced that Godfrey Mahlatsi will replace then head of the province’s health department Dr David Motau in an acting capacity. Refilwe Mochoari asked Mahlatsi about his plans for a department that has seen its fair share of controversy over the years.
By 16 June, the National Department of Health’s statistics showed the Free State has recorded 108 515 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4 612 deaths with 94 761 recoveries. Now, with the province caught in a third wave, healthcare workers say they still stuck with old problems from the previous two waves.
COVID-19 numbers have in recent weeks been rising in the Free State, leading some to fear that the province might be at the beginning of a third wave of infections. Refilwe Mochoari asked the Department of Health, unions, and opposition political parties whether the province is ready for a third wave.
By Tuesday 19 May the Free State has conducted 19 834 COVID-19 tests. The province recorded 165 confirmed cases, 118 recoveries and six deaths. Spotlight spoke to MEC for Health Montseng Tsiu and Head of the Free State Health Department Dr David Motau about the province’s COVID-19-response.
Doctors and nurses in the Free State and North West have accused Buthelezi EMS, the private company contracted to run provincial ambulance services, of operating like a minibus taxi and “drop and go” service.
By Ufrieda Ho – All over the Free State things are buzzing with public works projects, but also with electioneering. It seems there are as many road works and infrastructure upgrades as there are election posters on walls and lampposts.