30 June 2019

The debate is over, NHI is on its way – health minister

The Citizen 25 June 2019 – The time for debate was over and the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill would make its way to parliament soon, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

Mkhize was responding to Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane’s call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to “forget about the NHI” during the debate on the State of the Nation address. “In this case, we want to just say clearly that universal healthcare coverage is the future and National Health Insurance will happen,” Mkhize said. The bill will outline how NHI will be funded. For the article click here

What ails medical schemes market

Sunday Times 30 June 2019 – Premiums and profits spiral, but prognosis poor, says Discovery

As private health-care members writhe under the pressure of spiralling premiums, Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of SA's largest medical insurer, Discovery Health, says the industry is facing "very significant challenges". For the article click here

Patient dies amid payment row

Sunday Times 30 June 2019 – A payment dispute between Discovery and a private medical technologist took a fatal turn when the patient died.

The woman died a day after Nokwazi Sithole allegedly told Discovery she could not treat its members because the medical aid owed her R20 000. Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg said there were outstanding records from Sithole so that they could validate claims. Broomberg also said Sithole had a legal obligation to provide emergency treatment.

JSE health stocks suffer 21% setback in weak economy

Business Day 30 June 2019 - Squeeze on incomes forces South Africans to choose between healthcare and more pressing needs, says money manager

An index of SA hospital operators and pharmaceutical companies has slumped 21% so far in 2019, the worst performance of any Johannesburg sector with more than three members, and lagging behind the 10% gain for all share index. For the article click here

The business of love: Why condom factories and job creation could go hand-in-hand

Mail&Guardian 27 June 2019 - Every year, the continent falls 3-billion condoms short of what it needs. Could investing in condom factories be the answer — and create jobs to boot?

By the end of today, another 3 300 people in sub-Saharan Africa will become HIV positive. But why are 50% of the condoms the continent needs to prevent this, missing in action? East and Southern Africa may only be home to 8% of the world’s population but it accounts for nearly half of the world’s HIV infections, UNAIDS 2018 data reveals. For the article click here

‘Most complex health crisis in history’: Congo struggles to contain Ebola

Mail&Guardian 27 June 2019 - Political, security and cultural complications – not least a refusal to believe that Ebola exists – have thwarted efforts to overcome DRC’s deadly outbreak

The outbreak, with more than 2 100 cases and more than 1 412 confirmed deaths in just over a year, is the second largest in history, despite recent availability of an effective experimental vaccine. For the article click here

Court halts lawyer’s allegedly fraudulent claims

Business Day 27 June 2019 - The subject of a probe, he is accused of mounting scores of illegitimate cases of medical negligence against health departments

The Western Cape High Court has stopped a controversial lawyer from instituting cases against the provincial health department, pending the outcome of an investigation into his conduct by the Legal Practice Council. Zuko Nonxuba has been accused of trying to extract more than R480m in fraudulent medical negligence claims from the department. The Western Cape health department has also instituted criminal proceedings against Nonxuba. For the article click here

Who is liable for unnecessary deaths due to EMS, ambulance crisis?

BizCommunity 26 June 2019 - The current ambulance and EMS crisis in South Africa is making it less and less likely that patients will get the medical help they need in time.

A critical shortage of ambulances is resulting in an unnecessary number of patients dying or suffering further harm due to delays and "no shows". This is according to Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys, who says that your chances of surviving a medical emergency depend heavily on how quickly you can get to an emergency room; for the majority of South Africans, this means relying on a government ambulance to get them to the nearest hospital. For the article click here

Most metastatic colorectal cancers have spread before diagnosis

BizCommunity 25 June 2019 - Up to 80% of metastatic colorectal cancers are likely to have spread to distant locations in the body before the original tumour has exceeded the size of a poppy seed

This is according to a study of nearly 3,000 patients by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Identifying patients with early-stage colorectal tumors that are born to be bad may help doctors determine who should receive early treatments, such as systemic chemotherapy, to kill cancer cells lurking far from the tumour’s original location. For the article click here

Eastern Cape MEC summons hospital bosses in bid to improve health care

Business Day 24 June 2019 - Province’s health department told to improve the services provided by state facilities as it faces a high number of medical negligence claims

Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba has summoned hospital bosses to a meeting in East London on Tuesday to figure out how to improve the services provided by state facilities. The Eastern Cape health department faces a high number of medical negligence claims and in 2017/2018 paid out more R876.7m to successful claimants, or 32% of the national total. For the article click here

Life Healthcare bids adieu to India

Business Day 24 June 2019 - SA private health group sells its 49.7% stake in Max Healthcare after a disappointing five years in which it made no profit

Private hospital group Life Healthcare has concluded the sale of its stake in Indian hospital group Max Healthcare for R3.7bn, marking the final nail in the coffin for the disappointing venture. For the article click here

Publication date: 7/1/2019