Health spending 'perpetuates inequality'

2010-12-09 13:04
Johannesburg - Government spending policies which favour wealthier provinces have resulted in healthcare in post-apartheid South Africa not improving much, according to results of a study by an Oxford University professor released on Thursday.

"There was great optimism that the end of apartheid in South Africa would tackle profound inequalities in health," said Dr David Stuckler, who led the research.

"However, when you look at the data the situation has, in many respects, not changed much. Our study found that part of the problem owes to long-standing shortages of doctors, clinics and infrastructure, making it impossible to address adequately the health needs of deprived black populations."

They found that, for example, in 2007, the Northern Cape had twice as many doctors and more than four times as many hospitals per head of population than the poorest province of Limpopo.

But, the Northern Cape received the most government funding per head of population at $168 per capita, compared with $101 in Limpopo.

Inequalities

"The research paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health, argues that President Nelson Mandela's ambitions to address historical inequalities in the health system are far from being realised," a statement read.

They found that a combination of policy changes in the late 1990s created a cycle where the provinces with the greatest health needs attracted the least government health spending.

"Inequalities in health care are not only historical; they also appear to influence ongoing allocations."

Health system capacity, measured by the numbers of doctors and hospitals, emerged as a significant driver of inequalities in health spending.

Places with existing private hospitals attracted more health funding, but the same was not true for existing public hospitals.

"This cycle appears to have created an infrastructure-inequality trap, in which capacity determines new funds, thus widening existing inequalities in health care infrastructure."

Read more on:    health  |  service delivery
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
4 real car inventions that seem like science fiction

Vehicle design and tech have come so far so fast, that what seemed impossible has become reality. These are some of the fun and exciting innovations that have found their way into vehicle tech.

/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are active, busy and on a mission today. There may be a special person you wish to entertain and may put in the extra effort...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.