Mixed responses to Gauteng Health’s latest security plans

Following reports of healthcare workers who have been robbed, assaulted, or killed in public healthcare facilities in Gauteng, the province’s health department announced that healthcare workers will now be trained to handle patients who become violent. Thabo Molelekwa looked at what these safety plans entail and asked health worker organisations for their views.

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Decaying infrastructure at Tambo Hospital still putting patients and health workers at risk

Although the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg, Gauteng in 2017 had been declared unfit for human habitation” and “an occupational hazard, patients and healthcare workers are continuing to receive and provide health services under unusually difficult conditions. Some say they fear for their lives. Thabo Molelekwa visited the hospital and spoke to some healthcare workers and patients about conditions at the hospital and asked the provincial health department about plans to address the concerns.

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EDITORIAL: Government claims to value healthcare workers, its actions suggest it does not

The headline-making persecution of paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer is part of a wider trend whereby principled public sector healthcare workers are often abandoned to the whims of managers who are vindictive, incompetent, or both. Add the slow movement on South Africa’s healthcare worker policy, the poor management of the Health Professions Council, and the short shrift given to healthcare workers’ concerns about National Health Insurance, and the picture that emerges makes a mockery of government’s talk of valuing healthcare workers.

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Poor security and water shortages undermining healthcare in Mpumalanga

The Mpumalanga Department of Health is plagued by many challenges ranging from water shortages affecting some of its health facilities, poor medicine distribution, and a spate of assaults and robberies putting healthcare workers at risk. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to unions, opposition parties, and the department about these ongoing challenges and plans to address them.

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Medical intern burnout worsened by COVID-19

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.

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