Clinical associates praised at rural health conference, but questions remain over government backing

South Africa faces chronic healthcare worker shortages and the country’s Human Resources for Health Strategy 2030 has warned of an impending healthcare worker crisis. The shortages are particularly acute in some rural areas. One part of the solution that was the talk of the recently held Rural Health Conference, is to employ more clinical associates. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

Read More

EDITORIAL: Government claims to value healthcare workers, its actions suggest it does not

The headline-making persecution of paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer is part of a wider trend whereby principled public sector healthcare workers are often abandoned to the whims of managers who are vindictive, incompetent, or both. Add the slow movement on South Africa’s healthcare worker policy, the poor management of the Health Professions Council, and the short shrift given to healthcare workers’ concerns about National Health Insurance, and the picture that emerges makes a mockery of government’s talk of valuing healthcare workers.

Read More

How death is handled in health facilities – Can we do better?

There is nothing humans can do about the fact that everyone dies eventually, but there may be room to do better when it comes to how some doctors, nurses, and care workers break the news of dying and death; and also how they give practical support to a grieving family. Ufrieda Ho looks at what measures are in place to guide healthcare workers, patients, and their families through this process in health facilities.

Read More

Head of Free State health department not suspended despite being charged

It is business as usual at the Free State Department of Health with the acting Head of the Department Godfrey Mahlatsi back at work after he was released on R5 000 bail on 11 February. Mahlatsi is accused of contravening the Public Finance Management Act, while some of his co-accused face charges ranging from corruption and fraud to money laundering. The alleged fraud and corruption led to an R8.7 million loss to the department. Refilwe Mochoari reports.

Read More

X-rays and AI could transform TB detection in SA, but red tape might delay things

New World Health Organization guidance released this week endorses the wider use of chest X-rays and artificial intelligence for tuberculosis detection. Before these technologies can be fully utilised in South Africa, some regulatory and other issues will first have to be sorted out. Catherine Tomlinson reports.

Read More