Healthcare in crisis: A shameful disrespect of our Constitution
Healthcare in South Africa (SA) is in crisis. Of the complaints received by the health ombud, 40% are from Gauteng Province. Despite the dire shortage of human resources, the Gauteng Department of Health has decided not to fill vacated posts. As a result, the training of registrars and medical students suffers. Legal constraints have also created an impasse between tiers of government, allowing for near self-governance with impunity at the provincial offices. The public sector provides healthcare access to 84% of patients in SA, and this group is being denied access to healthcare in the country. The fundamental right to healthcare is affirmed in the Constitution; however, its implementation is riddled with impediments. Urgent intervention is necessary to address the crisis.