People wait for care at a Kenyan clinic.
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Removal of user fees or full subsidisation of insurance premiums doesn’t fully eliminate financial access barriers.
Older people in urban informal settlements live in poor socioeconomic conditions.
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The higher pace of demographic ageing and the noncommunicable diseases that come with it call for new management approaches.
People exercising in Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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South Africa faces high levels of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The NHI is likely to battle to cope with treating large numbers of sick people.
A healthcare worker collecting a swab for a COVID-19 test from a community member.
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There is hard and persistent work that needs to be planned for, like a kind of ongoing rehabilitation process, to realise the dream of one health system for all South Africans.
Collaboration is crucial for scientists to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic.
A crisis like COVID-19 demands that professional barriers be broken.
A nurse in a hospital checks an IV.
Ghana’s lack of a palliative care policy is posing a significant challenge to effective healthcare for cancer patients.
Netcare is one of three hospital groups found to dominated the facilities market.
The entire premise of effective competition is that purchasing of health services should be based on value - a combination of price and quality.
Less than 1 in 10 people living with a mental health condition in South Africa receive the care that they need.
If countries commit to universal health coverage alone, they will be emphasizing disease management over investing in wellness.
The UN’s global health policy related to universal health coverage should be grounded in primary health care – with meaningful benchmarks to ensure patient participation.
A community care worker providing treatment to a TB patient at her home.
Top-down reforms like those proposed in the NHI Bill need to be complemented by a bottom-up process of health system strengthening.
South Africa has a skewed healthcare system with an under-funded public sector and an expensive private sector.
South Africa’s planned NHI has no equivalent in any setting in the world. It’s deeply flawed on a number of fronts.
Health systems are generally structured around nation-states. Migration, especially across national borders, therefore leads to challenges.
International migrants often struggle to access healthcare.
Excluding international migrants from the public health care system can result in a population wide risk.
The proposed National Health Insurance aims to provide health care for all South Africans.
South Africa’s health care needs to be reformed so that everyone has access regardless of affordability or location.
A patient collects her medication at a clinic in Khayelitsha, South Africa.
MSF/Sydelle WIllow Smith
The bill to provide universal health care in South Africa is not the silver bullet for the challenges in the health sector.
A nurse weighs a baby at a clinic in Accra, Ghana.
For healthcare to be accessible, affordable and equal, policies and programmes that promote universal health coverage need to be based on evidence.
A critical part of attaining universal health coverage is access to published research.