In June, the Gauteng government launched a major employment drive called Nasi iSpani. Thabo Molelekwa spoke to stakeholders in the public health sector about what this may mean for the province’s chronic healthcare worker shortages.
Between South Africa’s Public Procurement Bill and the National Health Insurance Bill, health sector procurement in the country is set for a major shake-up – all as a landmark court decision recently reaffirmed the Constitutional imperative that public procurement must be conducted in a transparent way. Alicestine October takes a deep dive into the accelerating currents of procurement reform.
There are over 100 clinics in Mpumalanga without visiting doctors, hundreds waiting on surgeries in hospitals due to a lack of surgeons and other specialists, and only 60 working ambulances meant to service a population of over four million healthcare users. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks these challenges and asks the province’s health department about its plans.
Budgets, while important, are not the right mechanism to drive the structural change needed to improve the responsiveness of our public health system in meeting the needs of the population. But, argues Russel Rensburg, we can reorient the health system towards meeting the health needs of the population and then let the budget bolster the reforms. Here he provides some suggestions on how to go about it and contrasts that with the budget announced by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana this week.
The Medium-term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) was tabled amid a grim global economic outlook and a climate of increasing political uncertainty, electricity supply challenges, and very high unemployment. Russell Rensburg argues the MTBPS fails to provide a credible path toward a resilient recovery and sets out what can be done to strengthen governance and build social solidarity around the recovery we need.
Northern Cape Health MEC Marupeng Lekwene and the CEO of the Robert Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley recently launched a turnaround plan to address a litany of challenges at the province’s only tertiary hospital. Refilwe Mochoari and Alicestine October combed through departmental reports and speeches and spoke to several health stakeholders to assess the new plan.
The community-led clinic monitoring project, Ritshidze last week, released its follow-up report on the state of (primary) healthcare in Mpumalanga. There were some improvements, but patients are still waiting over four hours to be seen at some clinics. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks some of the report’s findings and asked the health department about its plans to address these shortcomings.
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.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has stymied the progress of the tuberculosis response across the world, the call for increased investment is important. Although health programmes can always do with more financial assistance, in South Africa, for its TB Recovery Plan to work, the focus should be on the strategic use of existing resources, argues Russell Rensburg.
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.
Plans to issue a digital vaccination certificate to people who have been jabbed were announced last week, but so far details have been sparse. Spotlight spoke to several experts to get their views on what we know about the certificates so far.
Troubles regarding the placement of community service doctors have made headlines once again this year, as it seems to do most years. The structural roots of these problems are long-standing and complex. Elna Schütz unpacks the complexities and talks to role-players about possible solutions.