South Africa: Ritshidze Report - Public Healthcare in the Eastern Cape Has Deteriorated Significantly Since Outbreak of Covid-19

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Staff attitudes, long waiting times and dire personnel shortages have seen public healthcare in the Eastern Cape, specifically for people living with HIV, regress significantly since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a report by Ritshidze has found.

Covid-19 had a significant negative impact on healthcare services in the Eastern Cape, according to a research report released on Thursday, with many people living with HIV bearing the brunt of bad staff attitudes, personnel shortages and long waiting times at clinics.

The report was released by Ritshidze, a project implemented by organisations representing people living with HIV including the Treatment Action Campaign, the National Association of People Living with HIV, the Positive Action Campaign, the Positive Women's Network and the South African Network of Religious Leaders Living with and affected by HIV/AIDS (SANERELA+), in alliance with Health Global Access Project, the Foundation for AIDS Research and Georgetown University's O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

It was presented to the Eastern Cape health department in Mdantsane.

Bad staff attitude was highlighted as a major barrier to seeking help at public health facilities.

"Over and over Ritshidze is hearing complaints about poor staff attitudes and unprofessional conduct by nurses. Only 64%...

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