Tag Archives: healthcare

Social media in healthcare and why the doctorsaurs became extinct

Sometimes I feel very alone and vulnerable here. You see, it is rare that doctors air their views on social media (SM), and I have done a fair bit of that on this forum. If you sift out all my posts pertaining to healthcare and read them in sequence, you will have a pretty representative…

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A big, big idea to reform private healthcare

The dynamics of private healthcare in South Africa are like a multigang bar-room brawl, with protagonists slugging it out, bloodying noses on all sides, retreating for a moment, and then rushing back into the fray. It’s easy to stand on the fringes, braying for changes and reform. It’s a lot harder coming up with suggestions…

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Beyond the ‘House of God’ – how medicine hasn’t really changed at all

In 1978, as I neared the end of high school and readied myself for medical training, a book called House of God (HOG) was published by a doctor under the pseudonym Samuel Shem. By the time I read it as an intern eight years later it had become a cult classic among doctors. Everyone I…

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When surgeons become wise

I noticed something different about my driving habits lately. At a traffic light I used to accept the green as an open invitation to drive through unconcerned, confident that other drivers would see the red and do what they are supposed to do, ie stop. I don’t do that anymore. I always look to see…

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Has Mandela’s medical treatment created a bad precedent?

If Madiba is recovering in a manner consistent with the public announcements of being able to go home “soon” I will be the first to admit that my expectation that his days were severely numbered was wrong, and be very pleased that I was. Because it really did not sound good. Being “critical but stable”…

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The disaster that is our medical depots

Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), along with Section27, the Treatment Action Campaign and Rural Health Advocacy Project recently released a damning report about HIV drug stock-outs in the Eastern Cape. According to the report, “Forty percent of 70 Eastern Cape health facilities ran out of HIV or TB drugs in May, and in almost…

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Pins and needles – a lesson on communication

A welcome break from medical politics – I wrote this a long time ago … it still applies just as much now as it did then. All a doctor’s knowledge, skill, patience and dedication are valueless without intuition. When all else lets us down, all the tests and special investigations, it is often the small…

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It’s time for a new class of medical doctor

In my last post here I made the observation that I practice medicine in a fee-for-service private system that is dysfunctional. Consumers of healthcare are the obvious losers, being subject to the perversions of the current system that translate into significantly higher cost. I stated that one of the drivers of this system is that…

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There’s no such thing as an ‘unnecessary’ operation…

Yup. You heard me. When funders and heath economists talk about unnecessary health expenditure it irks me. You, the patient, may not need an operation but there’s a whole bunch of people who do … the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the hospital, the surgical supplier, the drug companies. Your body is a valuable commodity, and in…

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Africa falling short on millennium goals

Despite Africa’s exponential economic growth and development over the past decade and additional support from the international donor community, progress and the realisation of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been slow in progress. Greater gains have been made over the past 15 years, however Africa’s performance overall continues to lag on health…

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