Medical aid coverage lowest among black South Africans

Medical aid coverage is lowest among black South Africans, with only 7,4% of individuals covered, and highest in the white population, with a 66,5% coverage, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

Companies lauded for HIV efforts

The Global Business Coalition (GBC) against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has recognised coal miner Xstrata, Standard Bank and Telkom for their efforts to combat HIV among their workers, underscoring the growing role played by the private sector in fighting the disease.

Micro enterprises slow to tap HIV/AIDS resources

A 2006 study by the Joint Economic AIDS and Poverty Programme revealed that business owners regarded HIV/AIDS as only ninth out of a list of 10 concerns facing their businesses. Many entrepreneurs are too busy focusing on those businesses to devote time or money to educating staff about the disease.

World No-Tobacco Day, May 31: Tobacco-free Youth

WHO calls for a ban on all forms of direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship by the tobacco industry to protect young people from experimenting and becoming regular tobacco users. National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) calls on public to write to MPs and political parties to support laws that will stop the industry targeting kids. On World No-Tobacco Day, May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on governments, communities and individuals to take action to reduce the health, social and economic harms caused by tobacco use.

Flu cost companies R2,7bn a year

Flu and respiratory illnesses are costing South African companies R2,7-billion a year, said the absenteeism statistics company CAM Solutions on Tuesday. Spokesperson Johnny Johnson said absenteeism due to flu and respiratory illnesses was having a considerable impact at the workplace. He said the direct cost was considerable, bearing in mind that employers would still have additional costs such as paying for replacement workers.

Gauteng health gets security and technology boost

Crime-hit hospitals in Gauteng should have security as soon as March, provincial health minister Brian Hlongwa announced on Wednesday. We have completed an audit aimed at identifying risks at health facilities, he said during a Gauteng legislature social-cluster briefing outlining priorities in the coming year.

Mini docs up in arms

Nurses doing specialist training within the state sector to become mini doctors are up in arms after learning that after a year of study their qualification will be worth nothing. The nurses are state employees whose studies are funded by the provincial health department, but apparently the course at Karl Bremer Hospital does not have the blessing of the South African Nursing Council. A total of 20 nurses are affected in 2007 and a similar number from 2006, all studying curative skills in primary health care.

Statement of National Health Council

The National Health Council (NHC) held its regular meeting to discuss various health policy issues in Cape Town today. The NHC is made up of the Minister of Health, the MECs for Health from all provinces, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and South African Military Health Services.