This report covers the public and private sector healthcare sector, including the size and state of the sector and factors influencing its success in areas such as controlling disease, improving mortality rates and training and retaining skilled professionals. The report includes comprehensive profiles of 26 entities including national departments, blood services, hospital groups, emergency services and pathology laboratories. These major hospital groups such as Mediclinic, Life Healthcare and Netcare, which last year exited the UK. Emergency services such as ER24 and Gardmed are profiled, as are pathology labs such as Lancet and Ampath.
The Healthcare Sector
South Africa’s two-tiered healthcare sector is supported by more than 252,650 registered practitioners providing essential services through 7,90 public healthcare facilities and 524 private healthcare facilities. Expenditure on human health activities and services exceeded R400bn in the 2017/18 financial year, with private healthcare accounting for approximately R213bn of total spend. With an allocation of 12.3% of the total budget, health expenditure represents the third largest item of consolidated state expenditure, but the public healthcare system continues to decline.
The healthcare sector is poised for significant change with the proposed introduction of National Health Insurance which seeks to provide all South Africans with access to quality healthcare. The prohibitive cost of private sector continues to come under the scrutiny of the Competition Commission’s on-going health market inquiry. Other concerns relating to private healthcare include an apparent lack of accountability; over-servicing; the maldistribution of facilities and service providers; and the payment of incentives.