Thursday, 7 July, 2022

FOCUS: MEDICAL PRACTICE

Moonlighting drains specialist care at state hospitals

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At least a quarter of senior government doctors and specialists are abusing a dual-practice system allowed by the state by working both jobs at the same time, causing “artificial shortages” at state hospitals, and eroding the quality of training of would-be-specialists. Doctors at government hospitals are legally allowed to do extra work in the private sector as long as they do this outside normal work hours. This is called dual-practice or moonlighting. It makes it hard for junior staff to...

FOCUS: HARM REDUCTION

UK punts e-cigs in ambitious smoke-free plan, but US more cautious

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As the UK prepares for a Smoke-free 2030 goal, the use of vaping as a means of doing so has again created divisions, with the US banning the popular Juul e-cigarette, notes Medical Brief. A new report, commissioned by the UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, provides recommendations to achieve a “Smoke-free 2030”, reflecting the government’s ambition to reduce the smoking rate from 13.5% to 5% by the end of this decade. Authored by Dr Javed Khan OBE,...

FOCUS: SPONSORED EDITORIAL

New diagnostic platform for dieticians a first for SA

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Nutritional support for hospitalised patients can now be managed using the Medical Nutrition Therapy Tool (MNTT), a locally developed software platform believed to be a first for South Africa. This is a simple yet effective tablet-based platform that will improve the clinical outcomes for patients by tracking the metabolic and nutritional progress of patients throughout their hospital stay. The tool was developed jointly by The Hospital Dietitians Interest Group (HDIG) and the Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa (ENASA). The problem Because...

BREAKING NEWS

Juta and Company acquires MedicalBrief

Juta and Company is delighted to announce that it has recently acquired MedicalBrief, South Africa’s leading, authoritative weekly digest of local and global medical...

NEWS UPDATE

Gauteng Cabinet to meet over ‘I am’ letter about dire hospital conditions

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has said the Cabinet’s Provincial Executive Committee was having a meeting this week to discuss a report on the state...

Cough syrup abuse rife in KZN

South African adolescents are increasingly looking for and experimenting with inexpensive drugs, including over-the-counter cough mixture. Evidence of this was the recent discovery of thousands...

Ramaphosa urges action to curb teen drinking after tavern tragedy

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to do more to combat under-age drinking in the wake of the Enyobeni tavern tragedy in...

Estcourt Hospital staff lugging buckets from tankers for patients’ baths

Major water shortages in the area resulted in Estcourt Hospital staff in northern KwaZulu-Natal having to boil kettles of water in the kitchen which...

Disabled computers lead to George Mukhari hospital bleeding millions

The computer system at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Gauteng has been out of operation since January, resulting in a revenue loss of...

Gauteng community nurses unpaid for three months – Denosa

The Gauteng Health Department has blamed “administrative challenges” for the fact that young nurses in the province have not been paid for three months. The...

Nehawu opposes Parliament over COVID mandatory jabs

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has rejected an instruction from Parliament to vaccinate staff for COVID-19 or pay for their...

Free 24/7 telehealth service relaunched in Western Cape

A telehealth service called “Hello Doctor”, first introduced in 2019 and then suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been relaunched by the Western...

Online cannabis clinics cut through the red tape

A new development in SA’s medical marijuana industry is the establishment of the country’s first online cannabis clinics. It’s a new health tech portal allowing...

MEDICO-LEGAL

SA’s foreign-trained doctors score legal victory against HPCSA

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) was on the receiving end of an “unprecedented” landmark court ruling recently after a class action...

NGO takes Health MEC to court for immigrants to access healthcare

After a two-year-old Zimbabwean boy died when a state hospital denied him treatment because his mother had no birth certificate, SECTION27, a public interest...

CCMA victory for employee dismissed over vaccine refusal

An employee who refused to have a COVID-19 vaccine and was subsequently dismissed has been awarded a year’s salary as compensation in a Commission...

Health Act amendments a bid by government 'to cling to power' – DA

The Health Ministry continues to face resistance to proposed regulations, described as “draconian” and “unconstitutional”, forcing people to submit to medical examination, quarantine and...

PPE contractor ordered to pay back R103m 'unlawful' tender

The Special Tribunal declared unlawful and invalid a multimillion-rand personal protective equipment (PPE) tender awarded by the Gauteng Department of Health to Zakheni Strategic...

‘Brain-dead’ boy’s parents win appeal fight in life-support case

The parents of 12-year-old British boy, Archie Battersbee, have won an appeal against ending his life support treatment. A court of appeal last week...

SOME OF THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Community-based paramedics save lives – and need no SAPS escorts

Unlike paramedics operating elsewhere in Cape Town – or across South Africa – the crews of the Hout Bay Volunteer Emergency Medical Service do...

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Monkeypox mutating faster than expected – Lisbon scientists

With South Africa having two reported monkeypox cases, and more than 3,500 people having contracted the virus in nearly 50 countries, scientists from Portugal...

MENTAL HEALTH

Study shows how psychedelics work on the brain to relieve depression

Up to 30% of people with depression don’t respond to treatment with anti-depressants – possibly due to differences in biology between patients and that...

Perinatal depression: mums, dads, babies all at risk – London meta-analysis

A major study of the mental health of new parents in 15 countries has revealed that three or more in 100 couples are affected...

NEUROLOGY

More evidence flu jab may guard against Alzheimer’s – Texas cohort study

A new study provides more evidence that the influenza vaccination may help protect older adults against Alzheimer's disease (AD). In a large propensity-matched cohort of...

Acupuncture relieves chronic headache – Chinese randomised trial

Acupuncture helped reduce the frequency of chronic tension-type headaches (CTTH), a randomised controlled trial in China found. More than two-thirds (68.2%) of people with CTTH...

More brain changes for post-menopausal than for pre-menopausal women – Bonn study

Women who have gone through menopause may have more of a brain biomarker called white matter hyperintensities than premenopausal women or men of the...

PAEDIATRICS

Migraine in children linked to anxiety, depression – Canadian meta-analysis

Children and adolescents with migraine are about twice as likely to have an anxiety or depressive disorder as those without migraine, results from a...

SLEEP HEALTH

Exposure to light during sleep linked to health risks – Chicago study

Researchers have found that sleeping with any type of light whatsoever, even dim light, can affect your health – and that any light exposure...

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