COVID-19 in SA: Frontline workers bearing the brunt of bureaucracy

Covid-19 continues to expose the gaps in our public health system. Overcrowding is a death trap for the poor seeking help in public hospitals. Many are dying in the corridors. This as South Africa faces a possible second wave of Covid-19. #eNCA Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Over-worked and over-burdened: How long can frontline workers keep going?

The COVID-19 pandemic is adding much pressure to the already buckling healthcare system.

 

Over-worked and over-burdened: How long can frontline workers keep going? The COVID-19 pandemic is adding much pressure to the already buckling healthcare system. Budget constraints are one of the main reasons for the limited staffing in hospitals and clinics - with healthcare workers paying the biggest price. eNCA's Monique Mortlock takes a look at the situation in the Western Cape. Courtesy #DStv403

Budget constraints are one of the main reasons for the limited staffing in hospitals and clinics, with healthcare workers paying the biggest price.

READ: Mkhize concerned about healthcare workers' conditions

Several frontline workers from different hospitals across the Western Cape said the same thing: There are too few of them to handle the workload.

The problem has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

The health department is unable to say exactly how many medical posts in the public health sector are frozen due to budget cuts implemented by Treasury.

READ: NMB hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 surge

But what is clear is that it's the frontline workers -- and their patients -- who are bearing the brunt of bureaucracy.

The Rural Health Advocacy Project says there's no simple solution to staffing issues.

What's needed, as a first step, is to prioritise hospitals and clinics in rural and poor communities so that they get funding for more staff. 

Source
eNCA

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