Come back, all is forgiven- South Africa looks to the private sector to save its ailing health service
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The South African government’s health service has gone running back to the private sector to help fix “dilapidated public hospitals”, according to a report in Business Day. The government’s 2002 hospital revitalisation scheme, it says, “has seen projects delayed and budgets blown” – resulting in an “infrastructure backlog at state health facilities”.
As well as bringing in the private sector to improve the infrastructure, clinical services may also be outsourced to experienced private sector providers.
IPN has previously warned [opens PDF] against the dangers to South Africa’s vibrant private healthcare sector from government impingement (South Africa has enjoyed the most advanced healthcare provision in the whole of Africa). As I explained last month, the state may fund some health costs, but it must still allow healthcare providers to compete, drive down prices and provide the poor with high quality, local medical care.