News/Events

News

Unions call for hospitals breaching Covid-19 health and safety checks to be shut down

03 Jun 2020

On June 3, the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (HOSPERSA) reported that more than 150 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.

This raised more questions about government’s capacity to deliver much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to its facilities, prompting unions to tell their members to stay away from work if there is no protective equipment.

HOSPERSA called on the Employment & Labour Department to the hospital to “avoid a brewing catastrophe which will derail the country’s fight against Covid-19.


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Covid-19 pandemic puts pressure on medicine supply

03 Jun 2020

According to the Director of Affordable Medicines at the National Department of Health, Khadija Jamaloodien the availability of medicines in the country is roughly 84%.


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Mediclinic scraps its dividend

03 Jun 2020

In June Mediclinic International, joined many companies in scrapping its dividend as it seeks to preserve cash amid uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar moves have been undertaken by its closest rivals, Netcare and Life Healthcare. This is the first time in Mediclinic’s 35-year history that it has withheld a pay-out., reported Business Day (3 June 2020). According to CEO, Ronnie van der Merwe, the company’s underlying performance, stripping out Covid-19, was broadly in line with expectations.


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Testing backlogs will not hamper fight against Covid-19

03 Jun 2020

On June 2, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that the country has 35 812 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Western Cape remains the epicentre with 23 583 cases. The Eastern Cape has 4 324 cases, Gauteng has 4 276 and KwaZulu-Natal has 2 637 cases. 


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Not all medical scheme payment relief options are created equal

02 Jun 2020

Medical aid members who are seeking any type of contribution relief should get in touch with their financial advisor or broker to ascertain the relief options available to them and the impact on benefits,” advised Susan Weedman, Alexander Forbes Health senior consulting manager. – BizCommunity (2 June 2020)


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Ramaphosa says Covid-19 response is preparing country for NHI

02 Jun 2020

“The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a building block towards SA’s healthcare future under the National Health Insurance programme,” according to Pres Cyril Ramaphosa. - News24 (1 June 2020).


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“Covid to hit medical aids with big claims, skint clients”

01 Jun 2020
 “The COVID-19 pandemic could cost medical aid schemes billions at a time when their income is expected to decline as an increasing number of financially distressed members downgrade their medical aid plans or are unable to pay for them at all,” reported Sunday Times (31 May 2020).
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Cape Town faces ICU bed shortage

29 May 2020

On May 27, Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize admitted that SA was suffering from a backlog of tests. According to his statement, as of May 27, 634 996 tests had been conducted across the country. But of those, “a total of 29 948 tests reflects a backlog ofunallocated tests”.

The statement said this challenge is caused by the limited availability of test kits globally (that is, inadequate supply of extraction kits and high throughputs of PCRkits). It must be acknowledged that this capacity issue is a global challenge.


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Cape Town faces ICU bed shortage

29 May 2020
On May 29 it was reported that Cape Town is running dangerously low on public hospital ICU beds, as the Western Cape has reported 65% of SA’s 27 403 coronavirus cases. According to the head of the Western Cape health department, Keith Cloete, Cape Town’s public hospitals have 135 ICU beds, but fewer than 100 are available.
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Private sector complains about frosty treatment over Covid-19

28 May 2020

Tension between private sector doctors and the government is coming to a head over a dispute about payment and legal immunity when it comes to treating COVID-19, reported Daily Maverick (28 May 2020).

“In a letter to members, the South African Private Practitioners’ Forum (SAPPF) says its repeated attempts to negotiate with the National Department of Health in “offering our support in combatingthis pandemic” have not met with a satisfactory response. At the heart of the issue isthe treatment of “state-responsibility patients” for Covid-19 in private medical facilities - and what the doctors will be paid.”


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Top award for SA doctor

28 May 2020

A South African HIV researcher, Quarraisha Abdool Karim,has been awarded the Christophe Merieux Prize, one of France’s top science prizes (close to R9.6-m), for her research.

Karim found that a topical gel of the HIV antiretroviral drug tenofovir, could stop many women being infected with HIV during sex. Abdool Karim, 60, has previously won SA’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe, as well as a L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science award. Her husband,

fellow epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim, is the SA government’s main scientific advisor for COVID-19.


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Cape Town: SA’s Covid epicentre

28 May 2020

The impression that the Western Cape is experiencing a more severe epidemic than the rest of the country is skewed by the fact that it does proportionately more testing and tests more aggressively in known hotspots, according to the provincial government. (As of last week, it had conducted 1 200 tests per 100 000 people, against Gauteng’s 837 per 100 000.) – Financial Mail (28 May 2020).


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How did Cuban health workers register in just three days?

27 May 2020
On 25 May, 28 Cuban doctors, part of a group of 187 healthcare workers, started working in Gauteng to assist with the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Low-cost hospital group RH Bophelo lists in Rwanda

27 May 2020

Black-owned hospital group, RH Bophelo, will be making a secondary listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange on 1 June. The group, which owns nine hospitals and manages six on behalf of smaller standalone hospitals, targets lower and middle-income earners who ordinarily cannot afford medical aid, but also do not want to rely on state hospitals.

 


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