It is often enlightening to ask how and why certain services differ in the ways they do between the private and public healthcare sectors. By too rigidly focusing on the NHI Bill, argues Spotlight Editor Marcus Low, government risks losing sight of the many other interesting answers to this and other important questions about healthcare reform in South Africa.
In its observations on South Africa, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) expressed grave concern regarding the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities. Professor Lesley Robertson looks at our medical model of disability and mental health legislation and unpacks the change needed at the societal and health system levels.
After making damning findings on the conditions of some Eastern Cape Hospitals, the Deputy Public Protector recommended several changes the provincial health department had to implement within 60 days. The report was published on 30 June this year. Halfway through the 60 days, people still have mixed feelings about their hospital visits and the provincial health department has little to say about what they’ve done to implement the recommended changes.
For all the suffering and death the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over the last 12 months, it has arguably also provided a unique opportunity to test some of the mechanisms behind South Africa’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system. The centralised procurement of vaccines and the contracting of doctors, for example, are probably not dissimilar from the arrangements we might see under NHI. Kathryn Cleary asks three leading health experts what lessons, for NHI, we should learn from the COVID-19 response.
A year after the Competition Commission released its Health Market Inquiry (HMI) report, there has been very little action in addressing the report’s findings. Now, a notice the Competition Commission sent to stakeholders in September suggests there may finally be some movement. Elri Voigt reports.
Even as the need for a more equitable health system is being demonstrated, news has broken of large-scale corruption in the procurement of PPE. This makes it difficult for a population worn down by corruption to envisage the transformation of the health system into a system of contracting and procurement under National Health Insurance, writes Sasha Stevenson.
Many types of surgery are being delayed in South African hospitals. HIV and TB testing rates are down. Kathryn Cleary investigates the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on ‘normal’ healthcare in South Africa.