‘Things are falling apart’: doctors on the grave state of public healthcare in South Africa

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Doctors at state hospitals in SA are fed up with the dire conditions they have to work under. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Doctors at state hospitals in SA are fed up with the dire conditions they have to work under. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Doctors performing complex procedures by the light of their cellphones. Broken equipment in the neonatal unit. Taps that have run dry in a place where proper hygiene could be the difference between life and death.

Day after day these are the conditions that staff at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Johannesburg have had to endure – and paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer has had enough of it.

“Children are dying and the horrendous conditions in our public hospitals are contributing to their deaths,” he wrote in an open letter to his bosses that painted a shocking picture of the sad state of the hospital and others like it in SA’s public health system.

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