Much of South Africa’s public health sector is plagued by long waiting times for surgery, a situation that was made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, an inspiring project at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town has reached its target of slashing its backlog by 1 500 surgeries. Elri Voigt reports.
It is a race against the clock to keep to the timetable for repairs at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. This as Gauteng’s public healthcare needs mount and the challenges of alleged criminal activity and inefficiencies at the hospital persist. Ufrieda Ho reports.
The quest for access to equitable and quality surgical care for all will not be won only in board rooms, theatres, or hospital corridors. We have to take this quest into communities and build alliances. In that respect, we can learn from one of the best examples of how community participation and mobilisation can help change health policy – the movement to ensure access to affordable and universal anti-retroviral treatment for persons living with HIV, argues Professor Kathryn Chu and Sangeun Lee.
Some healthcare services at Boitumelo Regional Hospital in Kroonstad are hamstrung by construction delays, poor maintenance, and water shortages – despite the hospital being classified as one of the Free State’s ‘ideal hospitals’. Refilwe Mochoari investigates.
Earlier this year, Spotlight published a two-part series on the human cost of surgery waiting times and asked what could be done about it. One such solution proposed by some is to devolve less complicated surgical care procedures to district hospitals. The AfroSurg3 Conference held in September, which brought together surgical stakeholders from 11 African countries to improve access to care, shed some light on how this might work. Alicestine October reports.
Despite some interventions by Mpumalanga’s health department, a litany of challenges at Mpumalanga hospitals continue to hamstrung quality patient care in the province. Nthusang Lefafa explores these challenges and asked the health department what is being done to address them.
Elective surgery is often performed on injuries or for conditions considered less life-threatening and some patients can wait up to two years for their procedure, which will often be scheduled and then cancelled when someone with a more serious medical emergency takes their spot on the list. This takes a huge emotional and financial toll on these patients and their families. Alicestine October reports.
Surgical waiting lists are not unexpected in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are indications that the situation is particularly acute in the Free State, and possibly for reasons that are not directly related to the pandemic. Also, the department of health failed to offer any explanation or details of current surgery waiting lists and waiting times reported by healthcare workers and patients. Refilwe Mochoari reports.
This month, the Khayelitsha District Hospital will celebrate ten years since it opened its doors. Tiyese Jeranji visited the hospital and spoke to the CEO, some staff members, patients, and health stakeholders about the services the hospital provides, its successes and continuing challenges.