I had the pleasure of working in small middle class area within the Western Cape. This part of Cape Town presents a different social dynamic as it is situated in a place that is both accessible to the upper-class of the suburban Cape Town and the masses of the lower class in the Cape-flats. Because of these social dynamics I was treating both the rich and the poor.
I often had very interesting conversations with my patients while treating them and I was surprised to hear how much our people do not know and understand each others backgrounds. This is because South Africa is a very divided society, we do not care about the people who die in skwatta-camps (informal settlements) because we do not have to see them dying of malnutrition. We still have an unacceptable gap between the “haves” and the have-“not`s”
Unfortunately this gap is evident even when it comes to accessing good quality healthcare in public hospitals. Generally in South Africa the rich people have their own hospitals and clinics, and the poor people have their hospitals, the rich do not have to see the struggles of the poor and the poor do not have to see the luxuries of the rich.
This statement of a segregated healthcare system sounds rather crude and unacceptable in a democratic state, however when you look at the role that private hospitals seek to serve in our society it is exactly that of further dividing our society.The private healthcare sector in South Africa is solely here to serve the rich.
Poor people are dealt with in over-crowded hospitals that do not even have half the resources that the private sector has. Unfortunately the concept of the :”rich” and poor in South Africa still continues to trend along the racial lines.Why do we need to have two healthcare systems the private sector for the rich and the public sector for the poor?
The private sectors continues to suck the living day light out of the public sector, because it entices the fresh graduates with money to slave for it. Professionals who serve the public hospitals either still the resources of the public sector to feed the private sector if its not resources that they still it “time” which they should be spending in public hospital.
I believe that South Africa can have one healthcare system that will be accessible and affordable to every citizen of the country irregardless of their money they have, or do not have. So what are the alternatives to the privatization of healthcare? Where is the health “Rand” to fund an inclusive healthcare system going to come from?
To answer the above questions, I think by the virtue that we will be working together as one we stand a ood chance of running a sustainable healthcare system that serves everyone who is sick. Every healthcare professional that once served a small segment of society will be working together with others to ensure that people are served.
We will not only be getting the professionals we have lost in private healthcare, but we will be getting amazing skills in regards to the management of a healthcare system. The National Healthcare insurance will ensure that every citizen is taken care of.
Lastly my last solution in ensuring the sustainability of a more inclusive healthcare system, I because when one speaks of an inclusive healthcare system we might think that we are speaking of “free services” well that is not necessary the case, I suggest that people who can afford to pay for their healthcare services should be allowed to do so by means of paying a healthcare levy. Citizens will pay 5% of their salary towards their healthcare, and you might ask what about those who are not working, truth is we are already paying for them either way.
How is the 5% levy going to be different from the taxes we are already paying is that, when a person has accumulated enough money or a person never gets sick or find any reason to use his healthcare fund, then s/he transfare it to a family member that really needs the money or even get some of it back as a
These are feasible ideas that can only work with good governance and create a more inclusive society where everyone can benefit from healthcare services that they so much need.