Forget power cuts. What is happening to our water supply is much more serious. After two decades of little or no maintenance of municipal sewerage plants, corruption and indifference, South Africans are vulnerable to medieval, water-borne diseases and something even more serious: thirst.
After turning down placements at rural hospitals, hundreds of newly qualified doctors remain unemployed while the country’s rural state hospitals remain desperately understaffed because of a complex – yet fixable – situation. Health-e News’ Amy Green investigates whether these health professionals are being ‘picky’ and what possible solutions there are to this senseless situation.
Mbizana, Eastern Cape – For 40 years patients at the Khanyayo Clinic have been treated in the same consulting room with little privacy – but thanks to a public-private partnership the clinic has received two extra consulting rooms.
EASTERN CAPE – Patients from rural Mbizana, who rely on state transport to get them to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Umthatha for specialist treatment, have to sleep on the floor while they wait for an ambulance.
Twenty three years after South Africa’s first democratic elections, many Eastern Cape residents still live in dire poverty – held hostage as much by incompetent officials as corrupt ones. Is there any political will to turn the country’s poorest municipalities around?
Sick patients have been forced to leave their beds at the Holy Cross Hospital and head outside to a nearby stream to fetch their own water because taps in the government health facility ran dry.