South Africa’s private healthcare sector could come under increased regulation from government to make them accessible to the country’s majority poor blacks, the country’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.
Motsoaledi however clarified that there was no plan to abolish private hospitals, but the government was only seeing to make the cost of accessing care affordable to those who need it most.
“We are running a healthcare system where the poor do not get what they need, while the rich get much more than they need. Which means there is over servicing of the rich and a gross under servicing of the poor,” the minister was quoted by News24 telling the Competition Commissions during a market inquiry session on private healthcare in the country.
Motsoaledi said the trend all over developed nation was to governments moving to regulates health care costs, adding that the South Africa was considering creating “a single fund” that will used to make quality health care in the country affordable for the entire population.
“Such a system should be dictated to by the health needs of the population, not by uncontrolled commercialization,” Business Tech quoted him saying.
“We need to move towards a fairer, more efficient health system for all South Africans, not sections of South Africa, based on the values of justice, fairness and social solidarity.”
Some medical procedures including CT scans for abdomens, pelvises and MRIs cost more in South Africa than in the US, News24 reported.
Private hospital groups have called for more public-private partnership to be considered instead of over regulating the sector.
According to South Africa’s Medical Scheme Expenditure of 2010, of the R84.7 billion ($5.6 billion) that was spent on health, R30.8 billion was spent in private hospitals. R11.6 billion went to non-health care services like administration and brokers, while actual health practitioners received less.