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84% of South Africans get 2nd rate healthcare - Motsoaledi

By admin
12 September 2013

South Africa's healthcare system fails to provide quality care for the majority of citizens, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi candidly told a business briefing hosted by The New Age on Thursday.

"In South Africa, costly private healthcare for the privileged few [provides for] 16% [of the population]," he said.

The remaining 84% had to make do with "second rate" care, while in the United States the situation was reversed.

"... Meaning their [the US's] healthcare system has thrown out 16% of the population, whereas in South Africa the health care system is throwing out 84% of the population," he said in a live broadcast on SABC2.

The proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system sought to rectify this, in line with citizens' right to access affordable, good quality healthcare irrespective of socio-economic status.

"If you come to me and say, 'they charged me R50 000 for a small operation', there is nothing I can absolutely do, even though I know very obviously they are ripping you [off], because there is no regulation."

The design of most healthcare systems favoured the rich and punished the poor, which threatened sub-Saharan Africa's ability to achieve the United Nations' health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015.