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[VIDEO] When politicians steal, patients suffer

The National Health Insurance scheme is supposed to provide all South Africans with the healthcare many have fought and died for. But citizens are wary of trusting politicians with the public purse and point to Tembisa Hospital on the East Rand as an example of how money set aside for health, has been used for anything but.

Health Beat #17 | Why corruption isn’t a victimless crime

In theory, the National Health Insurance (NHI) could transform our failing healthcare system. But, many South Africans have little faith in the politicians who are supposed to look after the public purse. We take a look at how the residents of Tembisa cope with the results of corruption at their hospital, the systems that private medical aid schemes have in place to curb fraud, and how the planned NHI could benefit from being more transparent.

Does SA’s biggest killer show up in your party’s manifesto?

A curable and preventable disease is South Africa’s biggest killer. Is your political party going to do something about it — and does it show up in their election manifesto?

Suspicion, stigma and systems: Africa’s healthcare story

At a conference towards the end of last year, some of the great names in African public healthcare shared their lessons about what can — and can’t — work on the continent, from setting up new hospitals to implementing national health insurance. Sean Christie was there.

Our most-read stories of 2023

Before the festive season kicks off, take a look at Bhekisisa’s most-read stories of 2023.

No patient left behind? How national treasury’s budget cuts will affect comm serve posts

Budget cuts to the provincial departments will leave close to 200 health science graduates without spots for their community service. The knock-on effect will be that fewer people who use state hospitals will have access to health services like dentists and physiotherapists.

Patient-centred care means avoiding unnecessary risk-taking

At the Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa), we believe that there is an art to seeing beyond what is, to what could be....

Slash the price by three-quarters — government on anti-HIV jab

The health department says ViiV Healthcare’s non-profit price for their anti-HIV jab, CAB-LA, is four times what it can pay. In 2022, just over 164 200 people in South Africa became newly infected with HIV. Can we afford to go without the shot?

The importance of being Brimey

With a black beret “à la the EFF” and fire-engine red scrubs, Ebrahim Variava is not scared to speak out against the ills of a broken public health system — something that got him suspended from his post as head of internal medicine at the Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. Meet the doctor for whom patients are always the priority.

#UNGA78: What the NHI means for universal health coverage in SA

The third day of high-level meetings at the 78th United Nations General Assembly is dedicated to talks on universal health coverage. In South Africa, this means talking about the proposed National Health Insurance fund — something that’s getting people hot under the collar. We’ve put together a one-stop page with information to support constructive debate.

Right of reply: “It’s far more complex” — the health department responds to one...

Will the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme make things worse rather than better? Here’s the response to this question from the head of the NHI, Nicholas Crisp.

What goes into your medical aid premium — and what it means for the...

Pooling funds to cover people’s medical bills makes sense — but only if the funds are managed well. Here’s what actuaries and economists look at when calculating your monthly premium — and what it could mean for the proposed National Health Insurance plan.

NHI: The problem with trying to kill two birds with one stone

The National Health Insurance scheme aims to solve two problems — fixing poorly-run health facilities and distributing the money available for healthcare in the country in a more equitable way — simultaneously. But trying to fix two things at once may make things worse, writes Dave Martin.

M72: Three things you need to know about a TB jab that might work

Many tuberculosis vaccines are in the works — but only one is showing real promise. Here’s why it’s worth getting excited.

The health department’s NHI branch appoints two new chief directors. Here’s what you need...

The appointments for the heads of two more of the five directorates of the National Health Insurance (NHI) were approved on Monday. These two positions will oversee user and service provider management and healthcare benefits and provider payment design. In the latest episode of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan asked the health department’s Nicholas Crisp and Sasha Stevenson from Section27 how the NHI will play out.

[WATCH] Why the NHI wants your medical aid premium

If the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is passed in its current form, your medical aid will disappear in its current form. It’s not clear how the NHI will be funded, but raised taxes will be unavoidable — and the scheme will likely want your medical aid premium.