The ongoing judicial inquest into the deaths of mental healthcare users during the Life Esidimeni tragedy in 2016, has again been postponed this week. It is the fifth time the proceedings have been postponed since the inquest started in July this year, signalling that there is still a long road ahead for determining any criminal accountability for these deaths. Julia Chaskalson takes stock of the progress so far and what to expect in the months ahead.
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.
Outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections such as Klebsiella have claimed the lives of infants and made headlines on a number of occasions over the last decade. Tiyese Jeranji looks at how the germs involved spread, how common these infections are, and what can be done to prevent outbreaks.
Although individual families of the mental healthcare users who died after they were discharged from Life Esidimeni in 2016 have been compensated for the violation of their constitutional rights, the actors responsible for the deaths, suffering, and torture of the mental healthcare patients have yet to be held criminally accountable. But that could change after a formal Judicial Inquest into the deaths, starting at the Pretoria High Court on 19 July 2021.
As the third wave of COVID-19 infections continues in Gauteng, hospitals remain under severe strain due to staff and equipment shortages. Add to this the ongoing unrest in certain areas in Gauteng, and it makes for a very grim picture. Thabo Molelekwa reports on the situation in East Rand hospitals.
For Dr Yakub Essack, a GP in Gauteng, the long workdays have become even longer as GPs become a vital pillar for managing COVID-19 patients in their homes for as long as possible to free up hospital beds during Gauteng’s third wave. Ufrieda Ho reports.
Over the last few years reported cases of congenital syphilis in South Africa have increased. This, accompanied by little or lack of notification, makes its management a challenge. Tiyese Jeranji reports on what congenital syphilis is, its management as well as gaps in management.
Six years after the Life Esidimeni tragedy, an inquest into the circumstances under which more than a thousand psychiatric patients were moved into the care of NGOs and about 144 died, is set to start in the North Gauteng High Court in July. Meanwhile, some mental health NGOs and activists maintain that the Gauteng Department of Health is still short-changing mental health services. Thabo Molelekwa reports.
Over 30% of those living in South Africa have experienced a depressive, anxiety, or substance use disorder in their lifetime, according to a national survey. Yet studies show only 15% of those with mental health conditions receive treatment. Laura Owings explores what role community healthcare workers can play in addressing this lack of access to care.
Rates of Serious Adverse Events that result in unintended harm to patients are disturbingly high in Gauteng public hospitals. Thabo Molelekwa spoke to health activists and government to see what is at the root of these risks to patient safety and what is done to curb it.
Four years ago, the virtual collapse of cancer services in KwaZulu-Natal saw some desperate patients move to Gauteng for care. Now, a new crisis is again prompting those who can, to relocate for treatment. Laura Lopez Gonzalez reports.