South African Health Minister Identifies Obstacles to Effective Functioning of Public Health Facilities in South Africa

BNN Correspondents
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Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has highlighted inefficiency, poor management, neglect of duty, and corruption as significant obstacles to the effective functioning of many public health facilities in South Africa. Despite facing several challenges, including a high burden of disease and decreasing resources due to poor economic performance, the public health system has demonstrated resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the second Presidential Health Summit, Phaahla acknowledged that the system did not collapse, even during the peak of the pandemic, when both public and private hospitals ran out of high care and ICU beds. The summit, which was held at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Thursday, aimed to assess the readiness of the health system to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) and review the implementation of interventions agreed upon during the 2018 summit while evaluating the performance of the health system against the Health Compact.

Phaahla adds that he was looking forward to interrogating progress reports and proposals on how to accelerate the further implementation of all pillars which will contribute positively to the implementation of Universal Health Coverage through the NHI. He emphasized that despite the many hurdles the public sector has to contend with, millions of South Africans still receive acceptable service at many public health facilities. The summit will end on Friday with President Cyril Ramaphosa set to deliver a key note address.