Hours waiting for emergency medical services, medicine shortages, high travel costs, and long walking distances to clinics. These are some of the issues rural communities in the North West face when trying to access healthcare services. Meanwhile, expensive mobile clinics purchased from the Gupta-linked Mediosa are gathering dust. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to community members in some of these rural communities and the provincial health authorities.
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.
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has asked treasury to investigate the procurement of ambulance services from Buthelezi EMS, a controversial private ambulance company that has been awarded large contracts in the Free State and North West.