3 February 2019

Report highlights SA’s public healthcare lottery

Business Day 31 January 2019 - Women in the Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo district are 10 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than those in Joe Gqabi district.

The huge disparities in the healthcare services available to people living in different parts of the country were laid bare in the latest District Health Barometer, released on Thursday. The District Health Barometer, published by the Health Systems Trust, is an annual publication that is now in its 13th edition. It is used by the government, academics and policy makers to track trends in the country’s public health system. For the article click here

New device administers medication remotely

BizCommunity 1 February 2019 - A collaboration between biomedical engineers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Osmania University in India has developed a tool for clinicians to administer medication to their patients remotely using mobile messaging technology.

Currently, a clinician or nurse must be at a patient’s bedside to administer intravenous medication manually. This can be especially challenging if they have various patients with different needs and medication schedules under their care. Recognising the laborious and time-consuming nature of this task, Dr Sudesh Sivarasu – associate professor in biomedical engineering at UCT – partnered with Dr K Eshwar Chandra Vidya Sagar from the department of biomedical engineering at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India to develop a device that will automate and streamline the process through activation via mobile messaging. For the article click here

How climate change is undermining the war against HIV in Africa

Business Day 31 January 2019 - Widespread poverty and worsening droughts, floods and other climate risks make Africa particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Teenage girls growing up in Lesotho in areas hit by harsh drought and other climate shocks are more likely to drop out of school, start having sex earlier and contract HIV, researchers say. In a study looking at the link between climate change and HIV infection since antiretroviral (ARV) treatment drugs became widely available in Sub-Saharan Africa, researchers found that severe drought threatens to drive new HIV infections. For the article click here

New osteomyelitis treatment without antibiotics

BizCommunity 31 January 2019 - A new treatment has been developed for the particularly difficult-to-treat bone infection, osteomyelitis. The one-step solution kills bacteria and bone growth without using antibiotics.

To do this, researchers led by RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) combined copper particles with bioactive glass – a type of glass used for bone repair – and incorporated it into an implant designed specifically for bone repair. For the article click here

Insurance and pensions businesses should put interests of the customer first

Business Day 31 January 2019 - Industry continues to shaft clients veiling this under the 'fair outcomes' principle

Is there a difference between a fair outcome and fairness? The question arises because the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) expects the financial services industry to treat its customers fairly (hence the TCF acronym) but the regulations only mandate fair outcomes. Judging by the public outcry over the Momentum/Ganas rulings late in 2018 , they are not the same.For the article click here

EDITORIAL: Do more to limit burden of medical negligence

Business Day 30 January 2019 - Provincial health departments faced claims of R80.4bn at the end of the past financial year

There is no question that people who are harmed by the health system should be compensated for their injuries, but the sheer scale of the medical-negligence claims against the state threatens to bankrupt provincial health departments. The public health system's weaknesses are well known but, as the National Treasury told Business Day this week, the exponential rise in claims against  the state over the past four years is out of kilter with trends in health care. For the article click here

Why African countries need to give genomic research a major boost

BizCommunity 30 January 2019 - More and more research is showing that a better understanding of the genomics of pathogens can play a crucial role in preventing and treating infectious diseases.

Identifying genetic risk factors for diseases can ensure timely interventions. It can also help curtail the spread of emerging infections and drug resistance.Because of this, genomic research has huge potential in helping African countries address public health issues. The problem is that Africa lags behind other regions. This is true in terms of research, resources as well as policy. For the article click here

3D printing gives orthopaedic surgeons a whole new perspective

BizCommunity 29 January 2019 - But now, doctors at Stellenbosch University (SU) and Tygerberg Hospital’s Division of Orthopaedics - with the support of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) - have created a three-dimensional (3D) printing laboratory and are now employing 3D printing techniques to create models of patients’ anatomy. 

This process assists them in planning, practicing and executing complex and challenging surgical procedures. “It is a relatively novel way for surgeons to visualise and assess a patient’s anatomy and can help them to plan and perform procedures with a greater measure of safety and efficiency,” says Dr Rudolph Venter, an orthopaedic surgeon with the FMHS. For the article click here

Health department slow to help provinces with medical-negligence claims

Business Day 29 January 2019 -National Treasury says the government is allocating R30m over three years

The national health department has taken nearly a year to set up teams of experts to help provincial health departments manage soaring claims  for medical negligence that are placing increasing strain on provincial budgets. Provincial health departments are grappling with the rapid rise in medical negligence claims, from R28.61bn in 2014-2015 to R80.4bn in 2017-2018, according to figures obtained by Business Day. For the article click here

Publication date: 2/3/2019