President Ramaphosa to address Health Summit

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa will at the weekend lead a government delegation to the two-day Presidential Health Summit to deliberate and propose solutions to address the challenges facing the country’s health system.

The summit will be held from Friday to Saturday at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, in Gauteng.

The Presidential Health Summit follows a consultative meeting held earlier this year, on the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. The focus of the summit will be on the recently gazetted National Health Insurance Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill.

In the bills, the President reiterated the commitment of the South African Government to strengthen the health system.

President Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the summit plenary at 11am on Friday.

“Delegates will work towards strengthening the health system to ensure that it provides access to quality health services for all in line with the principles of universal health coverage through an inclusive process,” said Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko in a statement on Tuesday.

South Africa has a two-tiered health system that consists of the public and private sectors.

“The current structure of the health system is significantly different from the apartheid era one which had 14 public sector health departments serving different ethnic and population groups,” said Diko.

“An additional significant change is the private sector which grew from being a complementary service provider in the 1960s to becoming a significant source of funding and delivery of healthcare from the year 2000.”

While there have been major achievements in several areas, “some areas remain unattended to, leading to a characterisation of the health system as being in a crisis. These challenges relate to both the private and public sectors”. –