2023 was a busy year for healthcare in South Africa. We saw several promising policy developments, landmark court cases, important pieces of legislation, and some changes in leadership. Yet, take a step back and at facility level little seems to have changed. Shortages of healthcare workers persist, corruption is still rife, budgets tight, and our health governance crisis remains as acute as ever. Marcus Low looks back at the year in health in fewer than 1 000 words.
As of last year, there were 3 449 people waiting on orthopaedic surgery in five of South Africa’s nine provinces. Waiting times in these five provinces ranged from two weeks to over five years. In the Eastern Cape, it can take up to ten years for people to get specific types of orthopaedic surgery. Tiyese Jeranji looks at the numbers and unpacks what it means for healthcare workers and people waiting for orthopaedic surgery.
While there is relatively good access to preventative and promotive oral healthcare services in the country, it does not go far enough to address the vast oral health-related issues that persons with disabilities present with, writes Dr Bulela Vava. If the government is to truly care for the oral health needs of persons with special needs, it will have to take bold steps to invest in building the requisite secondary and tertiary oral health service capacity.
Lecturers doing administrative work, nursing student accommodation found to be uninhabitable, frequent break-ins at some campuses, an exodus of staff since 2017, and some campuses with no students – are among the challenges at Lilitha nursing college in the Eastern Cape that the provincial legislature’s health committee flagged after an oversight visit. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
It is estimated that around half of medical negligence claims against the South African government are cerebral palsy-type claims. Apart from the direct impact on infants and families, cerebral palsy thus also has a major impact on health budgets. In this second article in a two-part series, Elri Voigt asks what can be done to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in the country. In part 1 we looked at what we know about cerebral palsy in South Africa.
It is estimated that around half of medical negligence claims against the South African government are cerebral palsy-type claims. Apart from the direct impact on infants and families, cerebral palsy thus also has a major impact on health budgets. In this first article in a two-part series, Elri Voigt asks what we know about cerebral palsy in South Africa. In part 2 we will look at what can be done to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in the country.
An ongoing strike by emergency services personnel in the Amathole and King William’s Town areas is putting strain on rural healthcare users needing emergency care. Some healthcare workers say the situation is dire with emergency cases piling up. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Despite Eastern Cape Health authorities acknowledging that the continued use of mud clinics is a concern, rural residents still have to make do with these dilapidated clinics. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some of these mud clinics to speak to some residents and asked the provincial health department about their plans to address this.
Security guards at healthcare facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay went on strike in January when their salaries had not been paid. During the strike, healthcare workers had to close some clinics as they feared for their safety, and patients were left stranded. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports on what happened and asked the health authorities what plans are in place to prevent similar incidents amid persistent budget constraints.
The South African Law Reform Commission recently published its discussion paper on medico-legal claims. Baone Twala unpacks the Commission’s proposals on law reform and what it may mean for claimants and the government.
With the State Liability Amendment Bill reintroduced in Parliament and a recently published discussion paper from the South African Law Reform Commission, the way medical negligence claims are handled in South Africa may soon change. Spotlight editor Marcus Low unpacks some of the legislative and other options on the table.
COVID-19 will continue to dominate headlines in 2022, but from National Health Insurance to the availability of a new HIV prevention injection, it will also be an important year for other areas of health service delivery and for health system governance and reforms. Here is Spotlight’s pick of the top ten issues to keep an eye on.