Surgeries delayed at Charlotte Maxeke as key machine decommissioned before replacements are ready

Staff say patients at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in need of vascular surgery face a three-month wait for life-saving surgery because of what some staff are calling “fishy” operational management and bad planning. According to hospital management, however, patients will be diverted to other hospitals during this period. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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Mixed responses to Gauteng Health’s latest security plans

Following reports of healthcare workers who have been robbed, assaulted, or killed in public healthcare facilities in Gauteng, the province’s health department announced that healthcare workers will now be trained to handle patients who become violent. Thabo Molelekwa looked at what these safety plans entail and asked health worker organisations for their views.

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RIGHT OF REPLY: Reducing the surgical and cancer treatment backlogs is an urgent priority

Following an article in Spotlight bemoaning “the lack of urgency” by the Gauteng Department of Health in addressing cancer and surgical backlogs despite having been allocated funds toward this, Dr Stephen Mankupane, Acting Head of Hospital Services in the provincial health department, writes that there is no disputing the fact that there is a need to act with urgency in attending to these backlogs and outlines what the department is doing. Here is his response in full.

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OPINION: Worrying lack of urgency as Gauteng Health sits on money earmarked to outsource urgent cancer treatment

It is almost three months since – partly through the efforts of SECTION27 and Cancer Alliance – money was made available to the Gauteng Health Department to outsource radiation oncology services and address surgical backlogs in the province. It is deeply worrying that despite being provided with resources for this outsourcing project, very little has been done to date to ensure that patients get the long overdue care that they need, writes Khanyisa Mapipa.

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OPINION: Struggle for migrant health rights still far from over after landmark judgment 

In a landmark court decision, the Gauteng High Court recently confirmed the rights of all pregnant and lactating women and children under age six to access services for free at all levels of care. The court order sets a good precedent for migrant health rights going forward, writes Mbali Baduza and Kholofelo Mphahlele as they explain the build-up to the court proceedings and why this is significant for re-affirming the right to access to healthcare for all in terms of section27 of the Constitution.

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INTERVIEW:  Being a good doctor requires empathy, says outgoing health ombud Prof Malegapuru Makgoba

South Africa’s health ombud Professor Malegapuru Makgoba’s tenure as ombud will end at the end of May. Bienne Huisman spoke to him about headline-making investigations into the Life Esidemeni tragedy and conditions at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, his childhood in Limpopo, and how he side-stepped former President Nelson Mandela’s invitation to join the African National Congress.

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OPINION: Oral health services for persons with special needs still lacking

While there is relatively good access to preventative and promotive oral healthcare services in the country, it does not go far enough to address the vast oral health-related issues that persons with disabilities present with, writes Dr Bulela Vava. If the government is to truly care for the oral health needs of persons with special needs, it will have to take bold steps to invest in building the requisite secondary and tertiary oral health service capacity.

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Face to face: “It’s not about me, it’s about the patient that I’m helping”, says head of trauma at Bara

Professor Rudo Mathivha became director of the Intensive Care Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in July 1999, holding her own in a white male-dominated space. Biénne Huisman chatted with Mathivha about her impressive journey, her deep commitment to patients, and the ongoing challenges at the country’s largest hospital.

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