Much of South Africa’s public health sector is plagued by long waiting times for surgery, a situation that was made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, an inspiring project at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town has reached its target of slashing its backlog by 1 500 surgeries. Elri Voigt reports.
People in South Africa are used to reports of organisations like Gift of the Givers stepping in during humanitarian emergencies, or service delivery NGOs assisting with HIV or tuberculosis programmes. But is there not a risk of the state becoming overly dependent on NGOs, and might this not mask state failure and thereby undermine democratic accountability? Sue Segar explores this question with the help of some high-profile NGO leaders.
At one stage during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Angela Hartwig was the only doctor at Adelaide Hospital in the Eastern Cape. She also fell ill while pregnant and working, and ended up in a COVID-ward. Despite the challenges the pandemic dished out to health facilities and health workers, especially in rural areas like Adelaide, she remains passionate about rural health. Bienne Huisman spoke to her as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.
The Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape is in the grips of a severe drought. Public health facilities in the metro have been hit hard with some having to close or reduce the number of people they attend to. Authorities say measures are in place to prevent a complete standstill. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
After almost a year, the Gauteng Health Department yesterday announced a strategic reset for repairs at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital after a fire ravaged parts of the hospital in April last year. The announcement comes ahead of Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s State of the Province Address on Monday but still does not provide immediate relief to patients and hospitals buckling as a result of delays. Ufrieda Ho reports.
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.
Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman has declined social media calls that he be nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Bienne Huisman spoke to Sooliman about the organisation’s work during the pandemic, his background, and what keeps him going.
Vula Mobile, an innovative local mobile phone App developed to help with medical referrals, will now help to make sure medical supplies and equipment donated by Gift of the Givers goes where it is needed most.