The KwaZulu-Natal health system is on the brink of collapse as the province suffers from a shortage of medical specialists and equipment, and a mountain of medical negligence cases that continue to pile up. The situation has worsened to the point where the Health Professions Council of SA has warned several departments they will lose their accreditation to train specialists. The South African Medical Association’s (Sama’s) coastal branch chairman, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa, says specialist training has been affected since 2015 when the department decided to cut the number of registrars trained — doctors studying to become specialists in various areas of health. Sama says the health department cited funding shortages for scaling down the programme. Mzukwa says the cutbacks of registrars are significant, declining from about 700 a year to about 200, and has reduced hospitals’ functionality. "They help with operations being done under the supervision of specialists," he says. Cancer units have...

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