South Africa: Access to Health Care Remains a Challenge says Health Professionals

Southern Africans seem to be living a dream within the healthcare system. Realities of the healthcare sector within the region is far from what the region exhibits and perceive to have. This discovery came to play when a local Future Health Index, authorized by Philips, showed that only 33% of healthcare professionals in South Africa believe the overall health of South Africans is positive while 80% of the population grade their current health system to be positively; 46% of the South African population think the health system in the country is unintegrated, while 74% of healthcare professionals feel even more strongly about this. The reason for the difference in response between the population and health professionals is related to access to health care. Health professionals largely disagree that their patients have access to care across all phases of the continuum compared with the 19-country average.

33,000 participants in 19 countries and advisory input from leading academic and global non-profit organizations formed the basis for the study and its outcome.  Additionally, the study shows that South Africa’s efficiency ratio (a comparison of the country’s health expenditure to key health outcomes among the population) is the lowest out of the 19 countries in this study, indicating considerable inefficiencies in the budget that is spent. These results were announced during the Future of Health Summit 2017 in Johannesburg. The 2017 FHI highlights that it is not only important to adapt healthcare delivery across different healthcare systems, but in the meantime address the differences between the perceptions of users of the health system and the reality of how well the system is set up for the future in South Africa.


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