Investment in public health facilities is crucial as the country weathers storms on various fronts – from drought (water shortages) and flooding putting strain on health infrastructure to a harsh economic climate that makes private healthcare unaffordable to more and more people. Mbali Baduza and Matshidiso Lencoasa assess the investments in infrastructure in the budget and what it means for the planned National Health Insurance system.
This week, South Africa’s COVID-19 regulations were amended to state that people who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 who do not have symptoms do not have to self-isolate. People who have tested positive and who do have COVID-19 symptoms have to isolate for seven days unless a longer period is recommended by a medical practitioner. Chris Bateman spoke to some local experts about the reasoning behind the changes and what other changes may be warranted.
Public health emergencies place immense power in the hands of executive leadership. This can pose a risk of creeping authoritarianism. Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller and Dr Benjamin Roberts explore the lessons that can be drawn from the findings of the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council’s online survey on the public’s views on lockdown regulations.
As Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize’s proposed amendments to regulations on notifiable medical conditions came under fire in Parliament this week, some public health and medical law experts welcomed the proposed amendments to the regulations and even made some suggestions on how it could be improved. Alicestine October took an in-depth look at what is at stake.
As COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise, so does the need for hospital beds. Kathryn Cleary explores the agreements that will see some public sector COVID-19 patients going to private hospitals and asks what this means for NHI.
A recent Pretoria High Court judgment declared the regulations under South Africa’s lockdown alert levels 3 and 4 invalid and unconstitutional. This case may well be overturned on appeal, but provides a critical opportunity for government to redirect and base its decision-making processes on transparency and participation.
Government can now track people’s movements through their cell phones to establish who may have come into contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Spotlight spoke to experts and activists about the new tracking plans.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize must use all the legal mechanisms at his disposal to ensure that the constitutional imperative that everyone has the right to have access to health care services is realised, writes Nkululeko Conco and Tendai Mafuma.
The decision to institute a lockdown is evidence of a government taking both scientific evidence and the need to save lives seriously and then taking carefully considered action, writes Marcus Low.
Eight days ago President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster. Spotlight looks back at the last week and listens to what community groups, farm workers, taxi operators and others have to say about COVID-19 and the various measures to prevent or slow its spread.