Health is an essential component of being human; both the positive and negative connotations have deep resonance with the human psyche. When we are sick, hurt, dying, the consequences extend beyond the personal, affecting families, communities, the economy and the well-being of our nation.
Our ability to thrive as a country is intricately linked to our health. Having an educated and trained workforce is not sufficient: physical and mental well-being are necessary for productivity. The greatest natural resource a society has is its people, and its success depends on how they are nurtured and cared for.
Our healthcare system influences our ability to participate in the global economy. Which is why asking “can we afford NHI? [National Health Insurance]” is the wrong question. We should rather be asking whether we can afford not to reform our healthcare system. An accessible, affordable, quality healthcare system has to be a key step on our journey, not an unattainable dream.
Here’s the context: according to World Bank statistics, the richest 10% of South Africans have 47% of all income, while the poorest 10% have 0.2% of all income, one of the greatest levels of income disparity in the world.
The apartheid legacy is that half of South Africa’s expenditure on healthcare currently flows via the private sector. Only 16% of the population have medical scheme cover. This means that the remaining 84% of people depend on the public health system, or have to pay out of their own pockets for private care.
Source: 2016-06-04 10:21 by Shivani Ranchod