Nurses make up a large part of the healthcare workforce in South Africa, but almost half of them are set to retire in the next 15 years. This suggests existing shortages of nurses will become even greater unless we take concrete steps to boost nurse training and retention. Elna Schütz reports.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic many medical interns in South Africa had a tough time, often working long hours and with little oversight or support. Chris Bateman spoke to interns and junior doctors in public hospitals and tag-on COVID-19 facilities, who are performing tasks of porters, auxiliary nurses, and liaising with anxious relatives, instead of getting the required hands-on, supervised learning.
In the Free State as a whole, roughly 16 COVID-19 jabs have been administered for every 100 people. In the province’s rural districts, the number is closer to one for every 100. Refilwe Mochoari spoke to a nursing union, some organisations on the ground, and the Free State Department of Health to get the full picture.
In 1947 the first black woman qualified as a doctor in South Africa. Her name was Mary Malahlela-Xakana. It took the country about 60 years after its first black male doctor started practicing for Malahlela-Xakana to don her stethoscope and practice medicine. Much, but not enough has changed since then, writes Alicestine October.
As the third wave of COVID-19 infections continues in Gauteng, hospitals remain under severe strain due to staff and equipment shortages. Add to this the ongoing unrest in certain areas in Gauteng, and it makes for a very grim picture. Thabo Molelekwa reports on the situation in East Rand hospitals.
The ongoing stockouts of contraceptives grossly violate individuals’ and couples’ reproductive rights but alternative measures have not been put in place. If the issues of access to contraceptives are not dealt with, the country will face a baby boom and a rise in HIV infections at the end of the current pandemic writes Thuthukile Mbatha and Annah Maluleke.
Every now and again people in South Africa have to endure a few weeks of mostly scheduled power cuts. Because power cuts can be deadly in hospitals, most facilities have backup systems in place. Tiyese Jeranji investigates how it all works and what safeguards are in place to prevent the lights from going out while you are on the theatre table.
Thousands of healthcare contract workers in the Eastern Cape Department of Health face an uncertain future over the continued extension of their contracts. This follows two conflicting decisions on ending contracts of workers roped in February last year to help in the fight against COVID-19 in the province. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
By 16 June, the National Department of Health’s statistics showed the Free State has recorded 108 515 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4 612 deaths with 94 761 recoveries. Now, with the province caught in a third wave, healthcare workers say they still stuck with old problems from the previous two waves.
A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that employing more nurses can result in cost savings double the cost of employing the additional nurses. The study was conducted in Australia but may well have important implications for nursing in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
The shortcomings of healthcare services in the rural Eastern Cape is well documented. Now, with provinces gearing up for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Luvuyo Mehlwana asked local health activists and government leaders about the rollout plan for rural communities in the province.