The effects of HIV/AIDS on medical private practice businesses in KwaZulu-Natal : the case study of Umlazi township.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a seriously negative impact on the South African workplace, with industries experiencing the many adverse effects of the disease such as the problem of absenteeism. Other effects of HIV/AIDS at the workplace include loss of productivity and profitability, especially if the disease is not managed properly. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of HIV/AIDS within the private medical practice industry in Umlazi Township, in the Province of KwaZulu Natal. The research methodology used was quantitative. There are only 40 private medical practices in Umlazi Township. The entire population of private medical practices is included in the sample because of the manageable population size. No sampling method was therefore used. Close-ended questionnaires ware hand delivered to all the doctors in all the private medical practices in Umlazi. The questionnaires were collected once the doctor indicated that s/he completed it. The salient finding of this study were that HIV/AIDS induced absenteeism is a major challenge for private medical practitioners. A good HIV/AIDS policy is necessary for the medical doctors to effectively manage HIV/AIDS at their private medical practices. While the respondents acknowledged the effectiveness of an HIV/AIDS policy if implemented, they understood that it would be difficult to implement it. Because of its effect on business sustainability, HIV/AIDS can result in serious problems for private medical practices, including bankruptcy. The recommendations of the study are for private medical practices to implement their own HIV/AIDS policy – which must encompasses education, training and treatment of those that are infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. The study highly recommends and encourages staff to undergo VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing) so that the disease can be identified early – which makes management of it timely, and more effective.