Interview: Rural doctor of the year reflects on the rutted road to quality healthcare 

Describing the rutted gravel road between Butterworth and Tafalofefe District Hospital in the Eastern Cape, Dr Bukiwe Spondo uses the word “terrible” at least eighteen times. Biénne Huisman caught up with Spondo, who was recently named rural doctor of the year, to chat about the many challenges of delivering quality healthcare services in South Africa’s rural areas.

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Rural Doctor of the Year: Craig Parker – the doctor-engineer who created a COVID lifeline for rural areas

A trained engineer and medical doctor, Dr Craig Parker created an oxygen device that was an important lifeline to patients in rural Eastern Cape at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month at the Rural Health Conference in Oudtshoorn, Parker received the Rural Doctor of the Year Award for 2022. Bienne Huisman chatted to Parker about the device and his life as a rural doctor.

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Women in Health: Dr Angela Hartwig – a torchbearer for rural health

At one stage during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Angela Hartwig was the only doctor at Adelaide Hospital in the Eastern Cape. She also fell ill while pregnant and working, and ended up in a COVID-ward. Despite the challenges the pandemic dished out to health facilities and health workers, especially in rural areas like Adelaide, she remains passionate about rural health. Bienne Huisman spoke to her as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.

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