Handicapped in the 'sticks'--policy the real disability.
Article Type: Editorial
Subject: Medicine, Rural (Laws, regulations and rules)
Medicine, Physical (Laws, regulations and rules)
Medical policy (Laws, regulations and rules)
Pub Date: 04/01/2012
Publication: Name: South African Medical Journal Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0256-9574
Issue: Date: April, 2012 Source Volume: 102 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Government regulation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 286392535
Full Text: For rehabilitation therapists working in rural areas, the new community-based preventive health care dispensation cannot come quickly enough, if an Izindaba snap-survey (1) of those struggling to make any impact in our most remote areas is anything to go by.

Take a very conservative 5-10% of our entire population suffering from some disability (excluding the burden of AIDS-driven sequelae), add skeletal rural rehab staff numbers, national and provincial 'one-size-fits-all' health policies and inappropriate budgeting, and it's small wonder quality of life for the rural disabled is so shocking that most just accept their 'fate'. Izindaba portrays often heroic attempts to cater to those most excluded and challenged, living on below-breadline incomes in remote simple khayas without electricity, running water or ready transport. The policies rural therapists have to get creative around include the national 3-day hospital bed-stay indicator with very few dedicated rehab beds or wards (a built-in recipe for conflict with doctors forced to play the 'get-a-heartbeat, get-them-out' game), no dedicated vehicles for vital clinic/home visits, and a mismatch in human resources that puts senior rehab therapists in regional directorates and juniors (needing supervision) in community-based health directorates. Also factor in scarce 'special' schools (423 nationwide), with 62% having hostels.
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