An antiretroviral injection administered every two months has been shown to be highly effective in preventing people from getting HIV in two large trials. Catherine Tomlinson asks what needs to happen before these injections become available to people in South Africa.
Shortages of doctors and nurses at hospitals in the Eastern Cape is a well-known systemic issue that creates serious challenges for access to quality healthcare. Attempts to access information on how the Provincial Department of Health is addressing or will address this have been unsuccessful, making it hard to hold the department accountable, writes Sibusisiwe Ndlela.
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.
Thousands of healthcare contract workers in the Eastern Cape Department of Health face an uncertain future over the continued extension of their contracts. This follows two conflicting decisions on ending contracts of workers roped in February last year to help in the fight against COVID-19 in the province. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
The national budget tabled this week shows that planned spending on public health is reduced by a massive R50.3 billion over the next three years. We cannot accept a vaccine versus health system trade-off. Government must both expedite the procurement of vaccines and ensure that provinces have the staff and other capabilities to rapidly roll them out and to maintain and improve the quality of healthcare services, argue writers from SECTION27.
Every year that National Treasury cannot deliver a health promotion levy of 20%, people in South Africa will die from the diseases that this levy could help prevent. And it is the poorest in South Africa who are the hardest hit, argues Lawrence Mbalati.
While COVID-19 will continue to make headlines for some time, 2021 will also be a critical year for healthcare reforms in South Africa and for various aspects of the country’s HIV and TB response. These are Spotlight’s top 12 healthcare questions for the year.
As the final negotiations in the 2021 budget process unfold, the government of the Eastern Cape and the department of health in particular are being asked to do more with less. It is now more urgent than ever to strengthen public primary health care, argue Ektaa Deochand and Russell Rensburg.
It is more than a year since Spotlight visited the Xhora Mouth area in the Eastern Cape to report on the locals’ challenges in accessing health care services. Now, a year later, not much has changed. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Much has been reported on alleged corruption and governance failures in the Eastern Cape Health department that have devastating consequences for health services to those most in need. This is also true for inadequate Emergency Medical Services in the province. Nontsikelelo Mpulo and Thokozile Mtsolongo argue that solutions to the province’s EMS woes should start with improved spending of available budgets.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to act strongly against any corruption and profiteering from the COVID-19 crisis but the systems in place to guard against this may be falling short. Spotlight looked at preliminary spending figures and asked some experts about how public money can be safeguarded during this time.
Spotlight visited the kitchen of Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane, Brakpan to meet some of the essential workers whose job it is to make sure patients are well-fed and to find out how they are preparing for COVID-19.