LETTER: A better approach to health care

Dr Yogan Pillay from the Department of Health was not being truthful in his opinion piece, “Health of people key to economic health”, published on January 11.

The World Bank and World Health Organisation report did not indicate that South Africa was well on its way to universal health coverage (UHC) with its National Health Insurance scheme (NHI). The report was evaluating the current situation of health care in South Africa.

There is thus an indication that South Africa is well on its way to UHC, despite NHI, which hasn’t been implemented yet. The department is continuing with its narrative that NHI is the only way to achieve UHC in South Africa, when credible research shows the current health system is well on its way to achieving this.

The report states that the missing element of UHC is quality of care. The department should be focusing on improving the quality of care in the public sector, without trying to radically overhaul the entire health care system through NHI. The underlying evidence for why the NHI model was chosen for South Africa has never been provided, and with a lack of specifics when it comes to costs and funding thereof, we should be looking at improving the current system and not at replacing it with something unaffordable. Cresta WITH the ANC 106th anniversary celebrations, it is now time for the new leadership of the ANC to take charge. The people of South Africa have been longing for sober and honest leadership for a long time now.

Listening to Ramaphosa on Saturday gave us hope that things are going to change for the better, after a decade of darkness under Zuma. We need Ramaphosa to take charge, the time for rhetoric is over and we need action.

It is disappointing that these calls for unity don’t include the recall of Zuma. He should be gone if the ANC wants to be serious in the fight against corruption and state capture.

But it is still early days and hopefully things we get better as we move closer to 2019.

Dr Johann Serfontein

This articles was first published in The Star Early Edition on 16 January 2018

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