450 South African nurses to undergo diabetes training as epidemic mounts

Over the next three years, 450 South African nurses will receive diabetes training to better identify symptoms and to educate patients about diabetes management.
Nurses have an important role to play in public health at every level of the healthcare system. In South Africa where diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic, the role of our nurses is even more critical.
This sentiment is shared by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr.

Rapid HIV test gives hope for newborn infants

A new study due for publication has revealed that prompt detection of HIV in newborn infants is possible.
Global diagnostic device and service provider Alere today said the rapid tests could be done by primary health care nurses and the results could be established without sending samples to a laboratory.
In the study, which was conducted at five primary care clinics in Mozambique, the Alere™ q HIV-1/2 Detect assay prototype provided accurate early infant diagnosis of HIV in less than 60 minutes, according to Alere.
The results were comparable with molecular tests done in medical labs.
Alere said detecting the virus at the point-o

North West doctors gear up for the NHI

The National Department of Health is partnering with districts to orientate private doctors looking to pick up extra hours at government health facilities.
As part of the National Health Insurance (NHI) and revitalisation of primary health care, the National Department of Health will be looking to contract private physicians.
These private doctors will be contracted to work a limited number of hours in public facilities in an attempt to supplement the country’s scarce number of public sector doctors.
Recently, the National Department of Health partnered with the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District NHI coordinator to provide an orientation for private North We

Brazil and Thailand got it right – can SA really make NHI work?

In 1988, less than half of Brazil's population had health coverage, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). But by 2008, it estimated that 75% were covered. 

By the early 2000s, nearly a decade ahead of schedule, Thailand had beaten or was on track to meet all of its millennium development goals, according to the United Nations Development Programme. The millennium development goals are eight international targets supported by United Nations member states to be achieved by 2015.

Rwanda government figures show that in less than two decades the country's life expectancy improved from 30 to 55 years. 

Public health facilities in a dire state

A poisonous snake slithering through a district hospital, badly cracked walls and rooms filled to the roof with broken equipment were some of the challenges facing researchers as they conducted the first national audit of public health facilities.


For most of last year, 20 data collection teams visited 3 880 public health facilities, throughout the country, ranging from tiny clinics to national central hospitals. The vast majority – 3 074 – were clinics.

The aim was to assess all public health facilities according to six criteria so that problems could be identified and addressed.

Cuban med schools for KZN

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health is to set up Cuban medical schools in the province to boost its delivery of primary health services, a key feature of the country’s new National Health Insurance (NHI) plan.

Making the announcement at this week’s Provincial Consultative Health Forum in Pietermaritzburg, KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said a departmental delegation would visit Cuba later this month to explore the options.

“We know that as a country we are not producing enough doctors. The demand far exceeds our current output of doctors each year,” Dhlomo told conference delegates, which included senior government officials.

Doctors will get NHI pay — minister

Department of Health would guarantee the payment of private general practitioners (GPs) who worked in public clinics in the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot districts, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.

The NHI envisions private practitioners being involved in public health institutions, and this is the first time that Dr Motsoaledi has fleshed out the proposal and guaranteed the payment of such medical officers.

The thinking is that private sector health resources will improve referral systems, as well as increase patients’ confidence in primary healthcare facilities.

Dr Motsoaledi was addressing journalists on the sidelines of the South African Medical Association’s (Sama ’s) conference.