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44 experts to design details of NHI scheme from January 2023

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Forty-four new National Health Insurance (NHI) positions, based at the national health department head office in Tshwane, will be advertised in the coming weeks and filled by January 2023.

A junior doctor’s battle to keep death at bay for state patients

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One in four South African medical students show signs of depression, and most doctors are at risk of burning out. Read about one state doctor’s road to hell and back again.

Why doesn’t SA use this bargaining chip when it makes deals with drugmakers?

A two-monthy HIV prevention injection could be too expensive for the department of health to buy even though the country participated in drug trials...

Would you screen yourself for cervical cancer at home?

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When South Africa introduced self-tests for HIV, far more people knew their status and were put on treatment. The same could happen for cervical cancer, argues this cancer advocate, and the country already has the networks, testing capacity and funding in place to make a project like this work.

Superbugs could cost you an arm or a leg: Why hospitals need more money...

Germs are outsmarting medicine faster than South Africa’s overburdened facilities can keep up with. There are ways to cut resistance, but such plans need more money for them to work.

Naeemah Abrahams and the secret to defeating evil – do something

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In the hospitals of 1980s South Africa, Naeemah Abrahams saw how often women showed up battered and bruised, a phenomenon her colleagues didn’t make much of. Three decades later, she’s one of the researchers turning the tide on gender-based violence.

Tipsy at breaktime: Do liquor ads increase underage drinking?

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Young South Africans are exposed to lots of liquor advertising, but the two bills which were designed to change this remain stuck in the pipeline.

The secrets locked up in period blood

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Endometriosis is a disease that causes the cells that line the uterus to start growing in other parts of the body. This can lead to excruciating pain for those affected but diagnosis can take more than a decade. These researchers are looking at period blood to learn about the disease and how to spot it faster.

SA’s moonlight sonata: The illegal cash cow draining specialist care at state hospitals

Specialist doctors at many state facilities aren’t showing up to work despite earning millions of rands a year in taxpayer money. The consequences for patient health can be devastating but not everyone agrees on the solutions.

Tongues & other taboos: Why queer sex ed is good for everyone

Lesbian teenagers have a lower chance of getting a sexually transmitted infection, but the threat remains. Even though South Africa’s sex education curriculum includes all the right lessons to help pupils of all sexual identities have safe sex in theory, the information that filters through to them is still up to individual teachers.

Why SA women with postpartum depression go unhelped

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The social and economic factors faced by women do not disappear once they become pregnant. Without additional support those problems get much worse and can be bad for their families too.

Come work with us: We’re hiring 2 reporters and 1 engagement officer

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Bhekisisa has vacancies for two more health journalists and one engagement officer.

Meet the health workers saving lives – earning a measly R670 a month

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What do you do when there aren’t enough rural doctors? In Zimbabwe, village healthcare workers, trained over three weeks, are plugging the gaps.

Karoo dust, diet & diabetes: Why ‘lifestyle disease’ is an unfair label 

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Diabetes is different from other non-communicable diseases, this author says. It can’t be spread in a literal sense — instead, it is often forced upon people by factors beyond their control. What happens when you have no say on your genetics or all you can afford is processed food?

How to pick good doctors: Why race, language & where people come from must...

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Opposition groups and others often argue that academic matric marks alone should determine whether someone gets into medical school – not factors such as race that people can’t control. But research finds that when it comes to making a good doctor, grades aren’t everything.

Inequality kills: How race, money and power affect who survives COVID

The data from 440 000 COVID patients reveal that non-white people in South Africa were far more likely to die than their white counterparts. These researchers argue it’s not about genetics or biology.