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Health Care Practitioners

Monday | 18 January | 2021 Hints to doctors who want to start their own medical practices

By Essie Bester Starting one’s own medical practice can be incredibly profitable and this is the end result many aim at, according to doctors who have done it. It is, however, also one of the biggest challenges that will face you as a medical practitioner – from business logistics to financial planning. The following are a few things regarding the management of a medical practice that should be kept in mind: Select your team carefully The required qualifications of the professional people who have to assist you in your practice, will depend on your particular practice. You will probably need
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Tuesday | 08 December | 2020 Medical research wants to inspire young people

By Nico Strydom  Dr Marli Dercksen, a medical scientist at the North-West University who was recently honoured by the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Societies (FAK) with an Inspirational Woman Award, hopes that it will inspire young people to consider careers in the health sector. Currently Dr Dercksen is the chief medical scientist at NWU’s Laboratory for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (PLIEM) and the centre for human metabolomics. “Without specialist medical services in South Africa so many patients will suffer and even die without being diagnosed. Optimal diagnostic and treatment strategies can only be obtained by means of the transfer of
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Tuesday | 01 December | 2020 Burnout among doctors becoming a growing problem

By Essie Bester The incidents of burnout among doctors are increasing at an alarming rate – and this was already the case before the Covid-19 pandemic. Solidarity’s Professional Guild for Health Practitioners investigated this alarming fact. In a recent overseas study it was found that 42% of American doctors suffer from burnout. In South Africa it is difficult to determine the precise numbers of burnout among professionals. However, data from the health care sector indicates that the number of South African doctors who suffer burnout is similar and in many cases much worse than that of their overseas colleagues. The
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Thursday | 01 October | 2020 Gerlia Venter: dietician with a passion for people

By Reon Janse van Rensburg Solidarity’s Guild for Health Practitioners is a professional community that stands together and works together. It provides a space for all the health professions where everyone can feel at home, work together and also learn together in his or her particular discipline. It is important for every Solidarity Guild to inform people, and especially young people, about different professions that enable them to broaden their horizons. However, guilds also fulfill the important function of acting as a watchdog on behalf of each profession in the specific professional community in order to create a healthy and
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Tuesday | 29 September | 2020 The precarious future of health care

By Essie Bester Shifting demographics, cost pressures, consumerism and rapid advances in technology will play a role in the future of health care. It is, however policy changes that will for ever change the face of health care as we know it. The Solidarity Guild for Health Practitioners, which focuses on tackling problem areas in the health profession with workable solutions, says the government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) is causing great concern about the future of health care in South Africa among practitioners, economists and ordinary citizens. Many people feel that the NHI is a political initiative to keep
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Wednesday | 16 September | 2020 Patient-doctor confidentiality during Covid-19

By Nico Strydom The Covid-19 pandemic brought along an increasing number of ethical and legal issues, especially with regard to patient-doctor confidentiality. Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Health practitioners did some research about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on patient-doctor confidentiality. Doctors have to explain to patients how the measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus affect their confidentiality, says Prof David McQuoid-Mason of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In an article by McQuoid-Mason recently published in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) he wrote that doctors should inform their patients
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Thursday | 06 August | 2020 Lockdown hits the pockets of GPs and dentists hard

The Star reports that hundreds of medical practices are on the verge of collapse because of a fall in the number of visits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was reported last week by Coenie Smith, Nedbank national manager for Medical Professionals. While the number of Covid-19 cases in SA continues to climb and those on the frontline work tirelessly to treat those affected, others such as general practitioners, specialists and dentists have seen demand for their services reduce significantly. This had led to a cash crunch, forcing some providers to scale back their practices and lay off health workers. Recent
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Tuesday | 28 July | 2020 How Medical Supervisors Can Help Manage Fear and Change in the Path of COVID-19

By Anja van den Berg Doctors, nurses, carers and paramedics around the world are facing an unprecedented workload in overstretched health facilities, and with no end in sight. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is claiming its stake. The medical fraternity is working in stressful and frightening work environments as information about the nature of the novel coronavirus is still limited. Moreover, in most settings, medical people are under-protected, overworked and vulnerable to infection. Healthcare workers are vulnerable to immediate and long-term mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey of over 3 000 respondents in South Africa conducted by EMGuidance, a
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Monday | 20 July | 2020 State’s national health a disgrace

Shocking and disgraceful, and a feeling of heartfelt sympathy for the victims, is the reaction that comes to mind when one sees and reads about the condition of state hospitals as reported by the BBC and others. It was reported that doctors and nurses at, among others, Livingstone Hospital in the Eastern Cape, which is the main Covid-19 hospital in the district, describe the situation as a “war zone” with blood and waste on the floors, shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), lack of oxygen, severe ambulance shortages, no ventilation and patients having to sleep under newspapers. A photograph was
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Friday | 17 July | 2020 The importance of mentorship in the workplace

By Nico Strydom Many companies have formal mentorship systems to make sure that knowledge and skills are transferred and to identify and develop talent. Mentorship programmes do not only serve as instruments for development, but are also extremely cost-effective options with numerous benefits for a company because the resources are already in place. Research has found that mentorship makes for job satisfaction and professional and personal development for the mentor as well as for the person at the receiving end. Employees also tend to stay with their place of work if they feel that they are getting help and that
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