The national health department says it is against outsourcing emergency services. But with a grave shortage of ambulances, it may have no choice.
Just 1971 state ambulance vehicles are on the road nationally, a Bhekisisa survey reveals.
Health department guidelines say there should be at least 5 700 ambulances in operation — or one for every 10 000 people, according to standards quoted in the KwaZulu-Natal health department 2017 annual report. But with less than 2 000 actually functioning, there are only enough state emergency vehicles to cater for about a third of the population, data from provinces show.
A May audit of provincial health departments by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) found shortages of ambulances and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in several provinces.
In response, Bhekisisa requested the latest EMS vehicle and personnel numbers from all nine provinces. The Gauteng, North West, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, and Eastern Cape hea Continue reading…
In Part I of the series on health reform and the draft National Health Insurance Bill (NHI Bill), the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) argued that considering the anticipated costs of the NHI and lack of crucial detail, South Africa needs to urgently assess alternative models to address the healthcare crisis. In Part II, the CFCR assesses the lack of information on the results of the NHI pilot phase, which is supposed to inform the further roll-out of the NHI.
The NHI Bill aims to revolutionise healthcare provision in South Africa by replacing the current two-tiered healthcare financing with the establishment of the NHI fund, which will be the single purchaser and financier of the population’s personal health services. The NHI, according to the NHI Bill, is envisioned to be rolled out in three phases spanning over 14 years, with the first phase extending from 2012 to 2017. The second phase is accordingly from 2017 to 2022. The final phase is from 2022 to 20 Continue reading…
Plans by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to push ahead with the National Health Insurance (NHI), is an act of desperation. It is a decision doomed to failure from the outset.
The minister is completely out of touch with the crisis in the South African public health system, and this was highlighted by his denial of a crisis despite the damning report from the commissioner of the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC).
Recent presentations to the Portfolio Committee on Health by each of the provinces, the OHSC and the Auditor-General, painted a picture of a health system that has collapsed entirely. It is beyond a crisis, it has simply failed.
DA visits to hospitals and clinics around the country have exposed medicine shortages, equipment shortages and a severe shortage of beds. In most hospitals visited, infrastructure is collapsing and lack of maintenance in facilities is painfully obvious.