Quality healthcare still mostly benefits the rich - health minister

2016-12-03 09:39
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi address a packed tent at the launch of the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi address a packed tent at the launch of the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Universal access to quality healthcare can work as an equaliser between the rich and the poor, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.

“The financing of healthcare is not dedicated to those who need it. Healthcare financing is in favour of the well-to-do. The time for that to change has arrived,” Motsoaledi said.

He was speaking at the unveiling of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, after two-and-a-half years of construction.

Work on the R1bn facility began in April 2014. It has 200 beds and will be a referral-based hospital, a training centre for specialists, and a centre for research into childhood illnesses.

The hospital has pledged not to turn away any child in need of care.

Motsoaledi said he and many others across the world, including members of the United Nations, believed that if universal healthcare coverage was amended, it would be one of the biggest equalisers between the rich and poor.

“If there is no universal healthcare coverage, all the dreams we have will not be realised. No matter how sick you are, the type of assistance you get depends on the depth of your pocket.

“Generally in South Africa, 80% of specialists serve 16% of the population. It is therefore obvious that when it comes to specialised needs for children, there is a great unmet need that needs to be addressed.”

Most people loved children, regardless of their nationality, race, or gender. However, there were millions of children around the world who were not being cared for.

1.3 million children without parents

He said that in South Africa 1.3 million children had either lost one or both parents.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital was only the fourth such hospital on the continent, besides the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in the Western Cape and two more in Egypt. It was the most technologically advanced of the lot, he said.

These numbers compared dismally to the first world. 

“There are 23 such hospitals in Canada, 19 in Australia, 20 in Germany, and 157 in the United States.” 

He said the wealth of the world lay in the well-being of its children.

South Africa, like most countries in Africa, was in need of specialised medical staff, especially nurses, he said.

The hospital had 48 critical care beds, which was 16% of the required number of such beds a hospital should have, according to international guidelines.

Globally, most hospitals had between 8% and 12% of their beds dedicated to critical care. In South Africa it was 4%.

“The hospital will assist us to fill many gaps. The only way all children of the region can have access to this hospital is when government supports it,” he said.


Read more on:    aaron motsoaledi  |  johannesburg  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
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.