In what is expected to become a verbal minefield littered with the usual ideological quips, the members of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health this week started the clause-by-clause deliberations on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. Alicestine October assesses the first leg of the deliberations and issues set to pop up in the next round of deliberations, starting with clause 5 of the Bill next week.
If there is a policy graveyard located somewhere in the country it would be littered with well-written but otherwise poorly implemented policies. Moreover, it would not be unusual to find that most of these policies were buried without proper autopsies being conducted. Claire Botha unpacks the reasons for this and offers some suggestions as to what can be done about it.
The South African Constitution says the most basic forms of healthcare should be made accessible to all who reside in the country but this is often not the lived experience of many foreign nationals. Kholofelo Mphahlele unpacks some of the realities foreign nationals face at public health facilities and what the law provides for protecting their rights.
It wasn’t rocket science when we predicted at the start of 2021 that South Africa’s biggest challenge this year would be to get COVID-19 shots into as many arms as possible. But the way it has played out with multiple setbacks and scrambling problem-solving is not something anyone could have predicted. In fewer than a thousand words, Spotlight editor Marcus Low takes a look back at a tumultuous year in health in South Africa.
Budgets alone do not solve structural issues, but what it does is provide some insight into the government’s plans for addressing its broader developmental priorities. Russel Rensburg unpacks what the medium-term budget policy statement means for the health sector.
After the 2019 elections, new MECs for Health (provincial ministers) were appointed in four of South Africa’s nine provinces. Less than two years later, three of the four are no longer in their jobs, writes Marcus Low.
The persistent challenges in public health in the Eastern Cape, highlight the critical role of leadership. Prof Helen Schneider argues if we are to reimagine a future of access, equity and justice in health and health care in the Eastern Cape, we need bottom-up institution-building involving civil society and not just top-down legislative, budgetary and other reforms.
A Lancet article reporting on children’s height and weight changes over the past thirty years makes for grim reading when it comes to South Africa. Two of the country’s top child nutrition experts unpack what this landmark study means and what we can do to improve the situation.
Many healthcare workers are rightly identified as heroes of South Africa’s COVID-19 response. Yet, often healthcare workers are given very little support in the public healthcare system, something that may get worse as healthcare worker shortages get more acute in the coming years. Kathryn Cleary investigates.
Dr Keith Cloete became head of the Western Cape Health Department on April 1 2020, two weeks into South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown level 5. Biénne Huisman asked him about the long road from a childhood in District Six to the blur of meetings in the Western Cape’s COVID-19 engine room.
Thanks to community-led monitoring in South Africa, we now have the data to back up the stories we have all heard about – early morning queues that last all day long when clinics fail to open on time and then also close early, writes Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter.