Human Health Activities
This report focuses on the South African healthcare sector which falls under the jurisdiction of the National Department of Health and comprises the public sector, private for-profit healthcare providers and private not-for-profit healthcare providers. Stakeholders estimate that more than 80% of the country’s population relies on public health facilities, which, for the most part, are under-resourced and over-extended. This highly polarised sector, which is currently the subject of a Competition Commission inquiry, comprises 240,024 registered healthcare workers serving a population of around 55 million people. Total health expenditure for the financial year 2015/2016 increased to R357.03bn, approximately 8.8% of GDP.
A sector under pressure
The healthcare sector is confronted by numerous challenges, including what is termed the Quadruple Burden of Disease: infectious diseases, notably HIV and Tuberculosis; maternal and child mortality; non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and hypertension; and violence, injuries and trauma. Although the country’s HIV treatment programme has improved and from September 2016 all HIV-positive South Africans will have access to antiretroviral drugs regardless of their CD4 count, South Africa still has the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in the world with 6.19 million people living with the disease.The shortage of healthcare professionals remains one of the most critical challenges facing the healthcare sector. With the doctor to population ratio having declined well below the global average of 15 doctors per 10,000 people, to six doctors per 10,000 people, many stakeholders believe that the shortage of medical professionals in South Africa is a national crisis.
The detailed report on the country’s healthcare industry describes current conditions, the latest developments in the public and private sectors and discusses factors influencing the success of this vital sector. The report profiles 25 role players, including Blood Banks, Pathology Practices and Ambulance Services. Also profiled are Netcare Limited, Life Healthcare and Mediclinic Southern Africa, which together account for 75% of the domestic private healthcare market.