IEJ Logo

Funding The Right To Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and the national responses to it brought the world almost to a complete lockdown.

South Africa has two healthcare systems. One is private, serving a minority of the population who can afford to pay increasingly exorbitant monthly as well as out of pocket fees. The other is public, funded mainly by tax revenues and serving the vast majority of citizens. Although only 17 in 100 people have private medical insurance (StatsSA 2017), private sector healthcare* spend is 4.2% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP), versus 4.4% for the public sector (DPME 2017). This unequal resourcing leads to unequal health outcomes that mirror the fault lines of race and geography inherited from apartheid.