At an estimated R27 billion per year, the cost of corruption equates to about 10% of the country’s total budget for health in 2022. With procurement understood to be a government’s single greatest corruption risk – health contracts are especially vulnerable. This is why reform related to safeguarding public procurement and resources is now beyond urgent, argues Zukiswa Kota.
On 17 February, Deputy Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo led a march against unsafe abortions in Rustenburg, North West, but a march alone cannot eliminate barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing safe abortions in the public health system. Much more is needed, argue Sibusiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo in an open letter.
Too many clinics are in crisis and it is driving the continuing HIV epidemic. People are dying because of it, argue members of the Ritshidze Project as they launch a report into the state of public sector facilities in Gauteng.
Almost half of the most commonly used medications to treat mental illness in South Africa were out of stock in August, and many have been in short supply since March. Now, experts warn that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation could see a “shadow epidemic” of psychiatric illness. Laura Lopez Gonzalez investigates.
Under COVID-19 lockdowns in South Africa and elsewhere, many public services have been interrupted, including sexual and reproductive health services. Thuthukile Mbatha considers the heavy toll these interruptions have taken on people’s lives.
New data points to fears of contracting COVID-19 at congested health facilities as the primary reason for people not seeking needed care and defaulting on their chronic medication, including HIV treatment. Amy Green reports.
The recent suspension of Professor Ebrahim Variava and the subsequent lifting of his suspension briefly placed the North West Department of Health in the national spotlight – a department that has been under administration for over two years. Marcus Low asks whether the latest developments are just a blip on the department’s road to recovery, or are they symptomatic of still deeply entrenched dysfunction.
Reports of drug shortages and stock-outs across South Africa have the Department of Health in a race against the clock to ensure a supply of essential medicines. With manufacturing operations around the world still facing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is battling to meet the demand for contraceptives, tuberculosis medicines and psychiatric medicines.
Doctors in North West province say that only around half of the medicines on the province’s essential drugs list are currently available and that this is severely impacting the level of care they can provide. UFRIEDA HO reports.