What public sector mental health services look like in the Free State

What public sector mental health services look like in the Free State

A 36-year-old mother living with HIV from Thabong in Welkom in the Free State is among the many millions of people in South Africa who rely on public healthcare services. Also, like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated disruptions have left her in a constant struggle with anxiety. Refilwe Mochoari asks what mental health services are available to people in the Free State who depend on the public healthcare system.

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In-depth: Does SA have a diabetes testing problem?

In-depth: Does SA have a diabetes testing problem?

Though the numbers are relatively uncertain, it is estimated that between four and five million people in South Africa are living with diabetes. One reason for the uncertainty is a lack of testing. A lack of testing also means that many people get diagnosed too late in the course of the disease. Elri Voigt asks what we do and do not know about diabetes in the country and what should be done about it.

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Mental Health: Grief, loss – we are all traumatised, says psychiatrist on the COVID-19 frontlines

Mental Health: Grief, loss – we are all traumatised, says psychiatrist on the COVID-19 frontlines

Working with Groote Schuur Hospital’s frontline COVID team, Psychiatry Professor Jackie Hoare help manage the mental health of patients admitted with severe COVID pneumonia and also the mental health needs of fellow healthcare workers. Bienne Huisman caught up with her to talk about providing counselling at the bedside of COVID patients and how we deal with the complexities of grief in a time of COVID-19.

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Ageing nurses: A crisis on the horizon

Ageing nurses: A crisis on the horizon

Nurses make up a large part of the healthcare workforce in South Africa, but almost half of them are set to retire in the next 15 years. This suggests existing shortages of nurses will become even greater unless we take concrete steps to boost nurse training and retention. Elna Schütz reports.

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In-depth: What is behind the massive cataract surgery backlogs in Gauteng?

In-depth: What is behind the massive cataract surgery backlogs in Gauteng?

As World Sight Day approaches on 14 October, Gauteng faces the damning reality that thousands of cataract patients are waiting up to two years to receive the simple life-changing surgery. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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Christiana community concerned over access to health services after hospital fire  

Christiana community concerned over access to health services after hospital fire  

While it is still unclear what caused the fire at the Christiana Hospital in the North West last week, residents are concerned about what this means for their health needs. Millions of rands’ worth of infrastructure upgrades were destroyed by a fire that left a big part of the hospital in ruins. Nthusang Lefafa reports.

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Staff shortages undermining quality of healthcare in Limpopo, report finds

Staff shortages undermining quality of healthcare in Limpopo, report finds

Many clinics in Limpopo are operating without the required number of staff needed to deliver quality healthcare services, according to a report from Ritshidze, a community healthcare monitoring project. Activists say these staff shortages contribute to long waiting times for patients and overworked staff – which can ultimately undermine the province’s HIV programme.

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Northern Cape government yet to decide on fate of senior health officials facing fraud charges

Northern Cape government yet to decide on fate of senior health officials facing fraud charges

The Northern Cape provincial government is still deciding whether or not to act against two of the province’s top health officials who this week appeared in court on charges of fraud and corruption. Opposition parties and trade unions are calling for the officials to be suspended.

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Opinion: Transparency and action urgently needed on Eastern Cape staffing challenges

Opinion: Transparency and action urgently needed on Eastern Cape staffing challenges

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.

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Healthcare workers in the third wave: “We are living in the shadows of death”

Healthcare workers in the third wave: “We are living in the shadows of death”

It’s been over a year since COVID-19 first hit South Africa. Since then, many people have been living in constant fear and many have lost loved ones. Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to face their fears if they were to keep doing the life-saving work they were trained for. Amy Green and colleagues explore the emotional toll that South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers.

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Women in Health: Africa’s youngest neurosurgeon and the future of the field

Women in Health: Africa’s youngest neurosurgeon and the future of the field

Dr Ncumisa Jilata’s journey from a childhood classroom in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape to becoming the youngest neurosurgeon in Africa may have begun with a glass of water. Laura Owings spoke to her about her journey, what drives her and succeeding in the male-dominated field of neurosurgery.

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What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

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.

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