NHI white paper: the good and the bad Dec 18, 2015

NHI white paper: the good and the bad

South Africa is one of the most unequal nations in the world, and despite having the highest GDP on the continent, it boasts poor health indicators and faces a high burden of disease, both communicable like HIV and non-communicable like diabetes; high rates of violence and injury and mortality.

Socio-economic inequity underpins inequities in health and access to health care. Forty-four percent of all health care spending is concentrated in the private sector, which serves only 16% of the population. The remaining 84% — those with the largest share of the burden of disease who need the most care — rely almost entirely on the under-resourced and dysfunctional public sector (a minority also pays out-or-pocket for limited private care at the primary care level).

Consequently, there is huge public-private inequality; massive unmet health care need in South Africa and a failure to approach anything near universal health coverage (UHC) through accessible, equitable and effective health care services.

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