National Health Insurance: A wing and a prayer
Financial Mail | 26 February 2016
Government’s National Health Insurance plan (NHI), which has the noble ambition of extending affordable, quality treatment to all, is based on the most dramatic overhaul of the SA health-care system since the ANC came to power in 1994.
But how and when it will come to fruition remains an open question, with gaping holes in the policy framework and implementation strategy.
The vision, outlined in the White Paper on NHI, is of a health-care system based on the principle of social...
Health-care Inquiry: Medical aids in the dock
Financial Mail | 25 February 2016
Craig Lester, a television freelancer, couldn't control his tears last week when testifying at the competition tribunal's inquiry into the private health sector.
Lester described to the panel, headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, his efforts to care for his seven-year-old autistic son, who needs a cocktail of medication to prevent his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from escalating to a life-threatening stage.
HST’s Wellness for Effective Leadership Workshop draws large crowd at DENOSA 2016
Facilitated by Health Systems Trust’s project manager, Ms Sarah Davids, the Wellness for Effective Leadership (WEL) Workshop at the Denosa 2016 Conference in Johannesburg drew a large audience who were keen to learn about this innovative personal development programme.
The workshop helps public health managers to equip themselves with personal and interpersonal competencies to deal effectively with stress in the workplace with the overall aim of improving service delivery.
South Africa: Ten Things You Probably Don't Know About HIV in 2016
All Africa | 22 February 2016
Great strides have been made in the treatment and prevention of HIV over the past 35 years.
The HIV world is used to things moving fast, in a way that most medicine just doesn't.
The reasons for this are complex, but include: strong research funding, focused and effective activism, and often younger, more dynamic and ambitious health professionals who recognised the inability of modern medical delivery systems to get treatment right.
No cause for panic stations over SA Zika case, says expert
Mail & Guardian | 22 February 2016
Health authorities say the visitor diagnosed with the mosquito-spread virus has recovered and there is minimal likelihood of a local outbreak.
The visiting Colombian businessperson who was diagnosed with the Zika virus in South Africa last week is “completely well” and “poses no risk to anybody”, says Lucille Blumberg, the deputy director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
Blumberg says the man presented with a mild illness four days after his...
HPV rates drop 64% in decade since recommended CDC vaccination
The Guardian | 22 February 2016
Although human papillomavirus vaccination rates are relatively low in the US, this the first time a study has shown evidence of the effect on women in their 20s.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence is down 64% since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a vaccination for the sexually transmitted infection a decade ago, according to a study released on Monday.
CDC researchers said this is also the first time a study has shown evidence of the effect of the...
Vaginal ring offers partial HIV protection in HIV Treatment
Health-e News | 22 February 2016
A vaginal ring that releases antiretroviral (ARV) medicine slowly over a month provides women with moderate protection against HIV infection.One-third fewer women were infected with HIV when using the ring filled with the ARV, dapivirine, than women using a ring without the ARV, according to results from two big trials released yesterday.
The ring worked best in women over the age of 25, where it protected over half of women from HIV. However, researchers say that many of the younger women...
Comment: South Africa must close the immunisation gap that parallels class
Mail & Guardian | 19 February 2016
Just 30 years ago, the average South African woman would have had four children, with the expectation that only two would live to celebrate their fifth birthdays. Today, parents no longer need to live with the same fear, in large part as a result of a remarkably powerful public health tool: the introduction of vaccines.
They can protect children for a lifetime from deadly and devastating diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus. In South Africa, the introduction of pneumococcal and...
E Cape Denosa demand better working conditions
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in the Eastern Cape (EC) is demanding better working conditions and that more nurses be appointed to address a massive shortage.
Members of the organization marched to the Provincial Health Department in Bhisho.
Taking to the streets as a last resort to air their grievances, Denosa says the limited intake of nursing students cannot address the nine thousand shortage in the province.
The union says dire working conditions at...
Expensive private healthcare highlighted at inquiry
BDlive | 18 February 2016
The high cost of private health care took centre stage at the health market inquiry on Wednesday, amid revelations that South Africans pay six times the international average for hospital stays.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) commissioned study on price levels for private hospitals found that 41.8% of the funds spent on private voluntary health insurance in South Africa were equivalent to 3.7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
This is six times the average in the...
When a child gives birth, who has failed her?
Health-e News | 15 February 2016
When a 12-year-old girl slides onto your operating table for a caesarean section, it's hard not to ask how she got here - and the answer seems to lie somewhere in the distance between cities and villages and in the family planning gap between the "have's" and "have not's"
There’s an awkward tension in the operating theatre as the nurses and doctors prepare for the caesarean section. They go about the usual business of unpacking equipment and switching...
Mpumalanga's health is failing - but it won't take it's medicine
Mail & Guardian | 12 February 2016
The Mpumalanga department of health incurred nearly R2-billion in irregular expenditure in the 2014-2015 financial year - making up more than 80% of the province's total irregular expenditure, according to the auditor general's report.
The report, released in November, reveals that the department failed to investigate the irregular expenditure identified in the 2013-2014 financial year.
The department “has [also] been struggling to address a qualification on assets for the...