News24

Healthcare declining in SA - Motsoaledi

2012-09-07 14:02

Johannesburg - South Africa spends more on health care than many other countries yet patient care is declining, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.

"We exceed GDP [gross domestic product] of health care costs....We are a country spending more on health but having poor outcomes," he told delegates at the annual Competition Commission conference in Johannesburg.

In 2009, the health expenditure in South Africa was 8.51% of GDP, according to a World Bank report.

This was considerably higher than the 5% recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Motsoaledi said uncontrolled commercialisation was "consuming" health care in the country.

"Part of the reason for this is due to a lack of basic essentials, caused in part by uncontrolled commercialism... whereby tenders come first and health care comes last," he said.

Escalated premiums

Motsoaledi said inflation on items were costing medical aid companies, including Discovery, about R2bn a year and had resulted in escalated medical premiums.

In "desperation" medical aids were reducing benefits "further and further", he said, adding that the regulation of the private sector proved to be difficult.

An inquiry was needed to deal with this because health care had to be customised to meet the needs of the patient.

"There is only one loser...and it's the patient...when medical aids don't pay in full, the patient is still the loser...the patient is always the loser," said Motsoaledi.

"In South Africa, we still think little of primary health care... While premiums [of medical aids] are increasing, patient care is declining."

He noted that due to the global economic crisis, many countries were tempted to reduce social services, especially health.

"Health is a public good and not just any other commodity.

"I don't know any minister of health in the world who is not worried about the affordability of health care."

Unrecoverable

He said health was not something that could recover because if someone was ill, they might die.

Referring to the Declaration of Alma-Ata, the minister said more needed to be done to make the dream a reality.

The Declaration of Alma-Ata was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978.

It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people.

This was the first international declaration underlining the importance of primary health care. It resolved to achieve "health for all by the year 2000".

"This dream never happened," said Motsoaledi.

Underprivileged


He said there were two types of health care: costly private care for the privileged and second rate care for everyone else.

"Medical aid schemes punish the poor... Health care is simply becoming unaffordable to people in the world."

On the National Health Insurance (NHI), Motsoaledi said it was not a beauty contest between the public and private sector. It was an attempt to better the services to the people of South Africa.

The NHI is a financing system that aims to ensure citizens are provided with essential health care, regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution.

Health care was becoming the focus of the work of the Competition Commission, as it intends examining the private health system in South Africa and abuse in the markets.

Comments
  • sandra.j.rennie - 2012-09-07 14:07

    He only realizes this now ? Where has this fool been living ?

      zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-09-07 14:23

      This fool was not the minister of health when this decline started. It was Manto and the beetroot. You must enlighten yourself a little bit about the happenings in Mzansi a stop being a fool!!!

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 14:24

      he is one to talk - he approves and KEEPS approving aids test kits that are not safe according to the world health organisation! Me thinks only because of tender schemes..!

      Willie - 2012-09-07 14:32

      @ zimbobwe.mugabe you got it wrong COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILTY is the answer

      zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-09-07 14:34

      I don't wanna defend this anc fools but sometimes we have to be reasonable and stop our foolishness. I think this fool is talking some sense with the medical aids and he has been battling this all along by himself. Where is Manto who started all this???

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 14:38

      @zimbobwe.mugabe - anc is "indefensible" to almost quote tutu! I don't care much for a medical scheme paid out of my tax money, that will benefit many that call me a criminal based on my white colour! If my white colour is not good for them, then my white money should also not be good!!! I work hard for my funds... NOBODY gave me ANYTHING for free from the gov.

      johnny.matsetse - 2012-09-07 14:44

      Anc anc anc ,Amandla amandla ,When the whole world was putting measures to contain the spread of HIV Mr Minister your then President Mr Thabo Mbeki could not believe in his own words that HIV causes AIDS ,As a Doctor U chose to be quite,After all this You only realising now that Health care is declining in SA ? As a paramedic in the Gov sector I am compelled to take instructions from a Senior Manager who does not even have a Medical qualification ,But anyway that's your Cadre deployment policies what can I say

      gerhard.muller.988 - 2012-09-07 14:51

      Actually, what he should have said is that we are allocating so much money to healthcare but not spending much of it. The balance is being lost to corruption.

      Jason - 2012-09-07 15:32

      Thats not the only thing declining.

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-07 16:10

      The ANC government spends more than most other countries on health, yet healthcare standards are dropping; the ANC government spends more than any other on education, yet the education standards have all but disappeared, so has crime (despite the fudged figures), the infrastructure is in collapse (not enough money to maintain it), electricity will soon be a luxury, so will be clean water, the Rand is heading for 'trash' levels - fuel will soon be impossible to afford, the mines are infested by murderous terrorists (aka rock drill operators), the economy can't grow, etcetera. In other words: THE ANC CANNOT GOVERN A COUNTRY - when will the penny drop..?

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-09-07 16:39

      The penny will never drop, Malema stole it.

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-07 14:08

    Thumbs up if this does not surprise you at all.

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-09-07 14:11

    Noooooo. Really? I would never have known.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-09-07 14:31

      And they make these statements with heads held high instead of crawling under a rock in total embarassment. Wonders never cease

  • christopher.shining - 2012-09-07 14:15

    You not spending more on health, you stealing the health cares money. Idiots! Bye bye zuma and anc...may you rot in hell soon...

  • ish.mkhonto.7 - 2012-09-07 14:21

    " We are a country spending more on health but having poor outcomes," : not surprised!! 1/2 if not 1/4 of the money is going into someone pockets.

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-09-07 14:37

      Actually I think in large part it is just going down the drain. My fiance needs a kidney transplant, a donor came forward last December, the operation has still not taken place, between the medical staff and the medical aid they have managed to mess up and bungle every single communication and unnecessarily stall at every part of the process. In the meantime she had to go onto dialysis early in the year and the machine and various medicines involved are costing the medical aid in excess of R30000 a month. Recently we found out the donor can't donate after all as they picked up some hereditary problem in him, so now we wait to start from scratch for the new donor (myself) to begin the process - I wanted to be tested at same time as the first donor (in case this happened) but they refused. So that will likely be another year delay at R30k a month.. So in total something that could have been done in January for a total cost of ~R250000 instead is going to end up taking ~2 years at a total cost of ~R1500000. In the meantime the patient loses healthwise - the longer she waits the worse it is for her. I lose, because I have to pay for various things they don't cover in the interim and because she now can't do her job anymore so I must support her. The medical aid loses, because they pay far more. Everybody loses... It's really frustrating and makes me angry and its not an isolated case this level of incompetency/apathy/mediocrity is rampant in our society and hospitals.

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-09-07 14:41

      By trying to save themselves a few rands the medical aid cost themselves millions. Another example is childbirth - they will happily pay a huge quantity of money for (1) Someone to give birth (2) All the medical complications that could arise even if its obvious the mother is not medically fit to give birth. But they won't pay for proper birth control. Its so backwards and ridiculous... (Yes I know some schemes - very few - will now pay for oral contraceptives, but not everyone can go on these and they cover a pitiful amount for it as well)

  • jack.trend.3 - 2012-09-07 14:26

    I worked hard every day to be able to afford what I afford. No hand outs for me. Do not try that "privileged" crap with me again.

      tw2066 - 2012-09-07 22:12

      You know the racist ANC take on this - a certain race group according to them owns everything and can afford private health care .... listened to this twit on SAFM. He is an AA canditated ANC lackey, and I am surpised he even admitted failure.

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-09-07 14:29

    more talk and less action!!!!! what you gonna do about it minister?

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-09-07 14:32

    Erm... You're not spending, you're stealing.

  • joahan.smal - 2012-09-07 14:33

    It worked exceptionally well until 1994 and then it was 'broken' and 'stolen'. Should we not look at the effect of race quotas in the health learning and working environment as a possible reason?

      seanrossouwslr - 2012-09-07 16:11

      I applied to study medicine, I was refused, yet got a partial scholarship to study chemical engineering. Others I knew, who were not white, applied to study medicine with lower marks and got accepted, and have since dropped out because of the workload and dedication required, while I am now studying for 2 degrees at once, 7 years of work compressed into 5, and doing well. Were it not for the quota system, here is one more woulda-been doctor you lost, government.

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-09-07 14:39

    You are the Minister of Health Dr Motsoaledi and we, the people of South Africa, are paying you to fix the mess you are describing. Do not tell us what is wrong because we all know and have experienced our so called public health service. Rather start fixing the problems by firing incompetent managers and reeling in the unions to force their members to acknowledge the nursing creed of service to the sick. We need more professional managers and definitely more caring nurses in our hospitals.

  • Bfoq.Za - 2012-09-07 14:43

    Again, nothing new here! Due to the appauling treatment and under payment of the competent and caring personnell is paying off. Now we are stuck with lazy nursing staff that just does a job. Not even a decent one at that! Less attitude and more caring please.

  • JHLR73 - 2012-09-07 14:46

    Hi Nooit!!! Are you sure there are not other govermental departments that are also not declining in SA? Who could tell??..

  • king.koffi.9 - 2012-09-07 15:09

    The minister is always critisizing the private healthcare!why is he not starting by fixing his public health first?he must quickly introduce NHI so government scheme can stop paying private healthcare,maybe that will make him sleep peacefully at night.

  • malemaisawanker - 2012-09-07 15:12

    Dear Minister, your mother should have swallowed!

  • steve.diedericks - 2012-09-07 15:16

    Majority of this is caused by corrupt government. As the ad states: "Medical aid schemes punish the poor... Health care is simply becoming unaffordable to people in the world especially those in South Africa." So they need to do something about it. The rise of inflation is trippeling everyones income, sort it out, Start with payrise and reduce the cost of the living expenses as its rising stupidly which is causing a massive knock on effect for the middle class and below

  • steve.diedericks - 2012-09-07 15:19

    This is mainly caused by corrupt Governement. As the ad states: "Medical aid schemes punish the poor... Health care is simply becoming unaffordable to people in the world - especially in South Africa." The need to think about the rise of inflation as its out numbering peoples income by x3 as much. It doesnt take a genius to figure this out. SA would you let you die if you didnt have money or medical aid. Great country we live in......

  • shadho.storm - 2012-09-07 15:25

    Apology for the use of caps font everyone, I know its silly and kinda dumb and laughable but here goes nothing... MINISTER. GET ALL THE NON COMPLIANT, INCORRECTLY LABELED AND OR NON COMPLIANT AND INCORRECTLY LABELED FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET IMMEDIATELY AND YOUR /THE HEALTH COSTS WILL FALL ASTRONOMICALLY AND SOUTH AFRICANS WILL BE SUCH A MORE HEALTHY, HAPPY AND SPIRITED COUNTRY. WHY IS THE DOH NOT ENFORCING ITS LEGISLATION AND REGULATION IMPLICITLY? WHY NOT? DID YOU MR MINISTER, NOT RECENTLY STATE TO PARLIAMENT CERTAIN INGREDIENTS IN FOODS ARE KILLING US SLOWLY AND SHRINKING OUR BRAINS FOR MANY YEARS ETC ETC. YET YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING ABOUT THESE PRODUCTS! DAMIT, ITS MORE THAN COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT FOOD AND BEVERAGES CONSUMED CAUSE AND OR CAUSED MOST AND OR A DAMN HIGH PERCENTAGE OF ALL ILLNESSES AND DEATH AND THESE ARE KNOWN FOODS AND BEVERAGES CONSUMED. WHAT ABOUT ALL THE NON COMPLIANT AND INCORRECTLY LABELED AND OR NON COMPLIANT PRODUCTS THAT THE DOH ALLOWS ON THE MARKET TO BE BOUGHT BY UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS AND CONSUMERS. PRODUCTS I HAVE COMPLAINED TO YOU AND THE DOH ABOUT SINCE JANUARY 2010 AND THE DOH HAVE DONE NOTHING TO STOP IT, IN FACT IT GETS WORSE BASICALLY DAILY. HOW DO YOU TREAT A ILLNESS IF YOU DONT KNOW WHATS CAUSING IT. YOU CALL YOURSELF A DOCTOR SIR, YOU AND YOUR DEPARTMENT ARE NOTHING MORE THAN UNETHICAL, IMMORAL, CORRUPT, DYSFUNCTIONAL DESPOTS AND CRIMINALS. YES YOUR DAY IN COURT IS IMMINENT MR MINISTER OF HEALTH AND YOU KNOW IT

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-07 15:38

    Don't forget about the R800 million not spent receently by local Gov. on hospitals. We need better leaders of hospitals and local Gov. and less cadres.

  • Leah - 2012-09-07 15:51

    If the ANC stops stealing and start spending money where it is needed, this will not be happening. Our state hospitals are filthy, disorganised and unproductive. Caring nursing staff are a rarity. Stealing and corruption is rife. Nobody is stopping it at all. Who cares? Not the health department. You inherited perfectly good hospitals, all you needed to do was maintain and then build more to accommodate the whole nation; following the same pattern. This did not happen. Now you want to cry and blame? May we be rid of the ANC soon! Your own people are suffering and nobody cares a hoot

  • thabob.zumagabe - 2012-09-07 16:07

    Part of the reason for this is due to a lack of basic essentials, caused in part by uncontrolled commercialism... whereby tenders come first and health care comes last," he said .......LOL And then the cANCer, off course, is the bunch of idiotic morons running HCare into the ground !!! Give me mediclinic or simular any day !! I am not doing Bara

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-07 16:35

    Oh wow, did you only just notice this Aaron? Did you need an enquiry in order to reach this conclusion? Haven't you noticed how since cANCer has been running the show, it's not just health care that has gone down? The entire country is going down but cANCer and it's supporters will only be happy when there is nothing left so they can all get their begging bowls out. TOO PATHETIC FOR WORDS! INCOMPETENT MORONS!

  • celeste.delange1 - 2012-09-07 16:45

    Hence the reason I forked out close to R20 000 to go to a private hospital for 5 days with a kidney infection earlier this year. And will fork out double that in January when I have a baby. I do this because my oh so brilliant medical aid i.e Discovery will not cover my expenses due to a 12 month waiting period! Here is an idea!! I will have this baby in a government hospital, have the baby either decapitated (like happens in North West hospitals), have it stolen, or dropped on the floor because I had to give birth in a corridor??? Wake up!!!!! The ANC does nothing for anyone but themselves!!

  • graham.brouwer - 2012-09-07 17:14

    Serious consideration should be given before having kids in SA!!!!!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-07 17:35

    Why the surprise. The government does nothing. Get with the program guys. The only thing they do and do it well is STEAL money. Learn to provide for yourself and don't count on the government for anything.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-09-07 17:56

    Minister..it's no use being allocated Billions in the Budget for the Health Department...if you don't have a disciplined method of controlling that budget...if you had a system that guarded where every Rand went...and had control on the rampant theft that is going on...like bedding..machinery..medicine...food(intended for sick patients)I don't think anything which is Hospital Property would be free from plundering. Minister if you brought in strict control...not only would the health care to all patients improve..but you would also find you could upgrade equipment due to sufficient funds that have accumulated...because corruption of the fund had stopped... Although this should be normal practice...in this country these ministers think it's their right to swindle cash...and bugg@r the patients. They need to make a ruling that sees all Ministers and their families go to Public Hospitals and not Private...only then will we see an improvement in Government Hospitals.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-07 18:36

    It should not be necessary to spend extra money on medical aids in the first place. You pay taxes don't you? So were is the acceptable medical facilities, the state should provide. Instead we all pay taxes for this state medical , but dare not use it for fear of dying. Shell out a second "tax" to pay for decent private medical aid. Now state wants us to pay for a third NH whatever. Get lost!

  • marli.eisern - 2012-09-07 19:14

    Does anybody really know what is going on? Since when is the public sector in a systemic dilapidated phase and condition? 1994-1996-1998-2000-2002-2004-2006-2008-2010-2012? What or which struggling movement is the cause AARON? Who is getting wealthier and who is getting even poorer? Who has to wait in a queue and who is getting treated and treatment worst than a dog? Why why why? Who can be made responsible? I think Juju Malema must be the next Health minister. At least he stands for action and hard words, look at Marikana. And, Juju can not be a poor or bad choice at least he will get some motion into this solid and smelly faeces and decomposing cadavers..... alternatively : get a manager from the private sector (Nedcare, Life, Old Mutual, Nedbank, Sanlam/Santam, Investec etc.) to run this department and restructure it. At least 59% of personnel cost can be saved and an additional 75% of facilities and infrastructure cost can be saved resulting in the same output, utility and performance.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-09-07 19:37

    All civil servants should be compelled to use state-owned hospitals and schools - even the so-called "top brass".

  • darra.pillay - 2012-09-07 21:35

    Go for quality NOT quantity Dr Motsoaledi. AND.... your LRA has ruined the country. It should NOT apply to medical professionals. Whose more important (and take the ballot box out of the equation before you answer)..the patient or the arrogant nurse and the doctor who removes a foot when the patients in for a hernia.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-09-08 02:05

    It's comments like this that clearly show how out of touch some people in government are. Yes healthcare is declining - has it just happened? No, it's been declining since 1994. Service providers have not been paid, so people die, and then the companies that are owed go under. Government should just quietly step down.

  • imraan.moosa.794 - 2012-09-08 10:21

    We run a small medical center. We often get poor people coming in with life threatening emergencies. Here are but 2 examples: 1. A patient came in with chest pains. We suspected a myocardial infarction. We refered him to hospital for urgent medical treatment. He was poor and not on medical aid. He was 47 years of age and had his wife and 3 small children in the car with him. The next day he passed on. When his wife came in to thank us we asked her what happened. She said they went to the public hospital and was attended to but discharged with paracetamol tablets. 2. A patient comes in complaining that he had difficulty in getting his food down. This was in an advanced stage and he was losing considerable weight. He is recommended to get a gastroscopy done. He is poor and does this througth the public healthcare system. They do the scope for him and a subsequent operation. He dies. He was 32 years of age. He leaves behind 2 children and a young wife to fend for herself. We regret referring patients to the public healthcare system.

  • galmzala - 2012-10-16 08:16

    has, had decline

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