PREVENTATIVE and primary care are in some respects two sides of the same coin.
Primary care involves visiting an appropriate healthcare practitioner when an illness first starts for first-line treatment — before the illness progresses.
Preventative care is incredibly important, and is necessary to prevent conditions or illnesses from getting worse or needing radical treatment, according to Heidi Kruger, the Board of Healthcare Funders head of corporate communications.
And though it may cost a medical scheme more money while it is putting a disease management programme together for diabetes, HIV or another chronic condition, it’s going to save medical scheme members, as well as the scheme itself, money in the long term.
About 500 000 people are expected to benefit from a US$30million global project aimed at addressing non-communicable diseases. The project will be rolled out in four countries, including South Arica, and will have a special focus on diabetes.
FOURTEEN years ago, Kholekile Shasha joined SA’s nascent doctor training programme in Cuba, unaware of how controversial the state-sponsored initiative would turn out to be.
He came from a poor family, and had finished high school in the Eastern Cape with exam results just shy of the grades needed to study medicine in SA. He leaped at the chance of a free education in Cuba.
"I was disadvantaged in terms of colour, and access to education and finance," he says.
THE recent report by Statistics SA emanating from last year’s General Household Survey offers welcome respite for Gauteng’s public health system. At the same time, results of this study table some of the hurdles the province still has to negotiate to attain a world-class and seamless health system that will benefit all the residents of Gauteng.
According to the research, 67,4% of respondents in the province said they were very satisfied with the services provided to them during their most recent visit to health facilities and 19,6% said they were somewhat satisfied. Just more than 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
News that the government of South Africa was inspired by Brazil's health system in setting up its own universal coverage scheme might meet with scepticism in this South American country.
Sociologist Walkiria Dutra de Oliveira was one of the many Brazilians who had a negative opinion of the country's public healthcare system. But she was in for a surprise when she visited a public health clinic in a middle-class neighbourhood in São Paulo.
Oliveira, who had been diagnosed with diabetes eight years earlier and was facing financial problems, decided to seek free insulin from the public health system.
UN meeting has finally alerted the world to what SA’s medical professionals have long suspected — the burden of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease is as serious a threat as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis to social and economic development.
THIS week’s first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on noncommunicable diseases has finally alerted the world to what SA’s medical professionals have long suspected — the burden of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease is as serious a threat as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis to social and economic development.
Health officials in sub-Saharan Africa are finally focusing on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, having spent much of the past decade concentrating on HIV/AIDS and malaria.
The growth of NCDs in developing countries has gone almost unnoticed, having been largely perceived as a problem affecting affluent countries. But NCDs have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading cause of death worldwide, with nearly 80 percent of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The National Health Research Committee (NHRC) will this week hold an important summit to look at the various health challenges facing the government. The summit takes place on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 July 2011 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
According to the chairperson of the NHRC, Professor Bongani Mayosi, South Africa is facing four main health challenges: