The National Health Insurance (NHI) is not a radical shift to dismantle a functioning system, but an opportunity to review two poorly functioning ones.
The public sector sees very high volumes of patients but gives them bad service and produces very poor outcomes. The private sector is modelled on low volume, high cost care – it uses its huge quantities of resources badly, to service very few people.
As the Health Market Inquiry (HMI) report makes clear, the large commercial medical schemes are resisting needed reforms that with better productivity would lead to the convergence of the two systems. In particular, they persist with an outdated tariff system that pays for services not outcomes and doesn’t support team-based delivery models. This is probably because it threatens their claim payment and ‘managed care’ role that justifies a very high income. This strategy is counterproductive for their members.
When the US went to bat for Big Pharma in the fight against this killer disease, South Africa wasn’t having any of it. Here’s what happened next.
Graveyard cough, white plague, consumption. A killer by any name, TB has stalked the human race for aeons, lurking in crowded tenements or following miners deep underground, hanging in the air of our hospitals.
Always there, yet rarely spoken.
Today, it kills more people than HIV and malaria combined, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports. In South Africa, Statistics South Africa’s latest data shows TB remains the leading cause of non-violent deaths.
Yet it took the United Nations 73 years to call a meeting on TB — and only because a very excitable South African health minister agitated enough for it.
Twin City Mall in Bloemfontein is the newest site for the innovative ATM pharmacy that gives patients with chronic illnesses repeat medication in under five minutes.
The Pharmacy Dispensing Unit (PDU) was unveiled on 25 September, during Pharmacy Month, at the central community shopping centre, which is on main transport routes and is open for extended hours including weekends and public holidays. The first such dispensing unit was launched in Alexandra in Gauteng in March this year.
The Pharmacy Dispensing Unit works like an ATM for medication, with Skype-like audio-visual interaction between patient and a remotely located tele-pharmacy contact centre. Patients are able to talk to pharmacists in a call centre 400km away in Centurion, Gauteng – showcasing the benefits of tele-pharmacy to patients in rural and outlying areas. This allows patients to access accurate medicine information and counselling from qualified pharmacy staff.
Some heavy drinkers suffer intense withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking – some, less so. A new Yale-led international study of individuals with alcohol dependence has identified gene variants that may help explain why “detox” from alcohol is particularly difficult for some people.
The researchers reported their findings on 25 September in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism.
“Alcohol takes more lives in the United States and South Africa every year than opioids, but there are few effective treatments to help people who have an alcohol use disorder,” said Andrew H. Smith, lead author of the study and a research affiliate in the laboratory of senior author Joel Gelernter, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience. “For people who experience intense withdrawal symptoms, that’s one more barrier they have to face while Continue reading…
The next generation of healthcare buildings will be very different from the hospitals, clinics and general practitioner (GP) surgeries we are familiar with today.
A revolution in building design is already underway, which has largely been prompted by an acceleration of technological innovation, changing population demographics, shifts in expectations of how healthcare should be provided and environmental considerations.
In the pursuit of a prosperous future of inclusive and sustainable growth, where all African people have a high standard of living, quality of life, sound health and well-being, learning from global trends and adapting these to suit African conditions may be the key to building successful networks of healthcare infrastructure and medical facilities across the continent.
The metro has denied claims that Yolanda Ferencak’s children were turned away from Birchleigh North Clinic because they are white.
“The acting manager interviewed all the personnel at Birchleigh North Clinic. They indicated that none of them saw or sent away any patient or referred them to Birchleigh Clinic,” said Themba Gadebe, the metro’s spokesperson.
Ferencak from Terenure told Express that her 25-year-old daughter had taken her 11-month-old boy for immunisation injections at the clinic on July 4 when they were allegedly denied service.
“When my daughter got to the clinic she said a woman told her they did not assist white people and that it was a blacks-only clinic,” said Ferencak.
“Because they needed to go to a clinic, they then went to Birchleigh Clinic where they were assisted and a file for the baby was opened.”
“Racial preference or remarks are not tolerated and serious actions will be taken, should it occur,” said Gadebe. Continue reading…