Minister of Health confirms Western Cape has best doctor-per-person ratio
4 July 2018
In a reply to a DA parliamentary question, the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, has revealed that the DA-run Western Cape has the highest doctor-per-resident ratio in the country. At one doctor for every 553 people in the province, it is more than five times the ratio in Limpopo.
Meanwhile, Minister Motsoaledi is on his healthcare crisis denial tour, promoting the National Health Insurance (NHI) as the solution to health issues in the country, blithely ignoring the self-evident fact that NHI is completely silent on how the government plans to fix the current broken and collapsing health care system.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates for a ratio of 1 doctor to every 1000 people. Currently, only the Western Cape and Gauteng (791) have ratios that meet this criteria with a current national average of 1,118.
The worst performing provinces are Limpopo (2,924), North West (2,389), Mpumalanga (2,221) and Eastern Cape (1,860).
Whilst the Department of Health’s figures include both public and private sector doctors, it is important to note the recently gazetted National Health Insurance and the Medical Schemes Amendment bills will impact both the private and public sector through price controls, and thus risk prompting an exodus of medical professionals. This will only exacerbate the current problem.
In another Parliamentary reply, Minister Motsoaledi revealed that 110 healthcare facilities in the Eastern Cape do not have access to electricity. The lack of electricity at these facilities is not only a safety concern for patients but also demonstrates the breakdown in service delivery more generally in the ANC-run province.
The DA has proven that we can run a healthcare system within the current budget that performs better and attracts healthcare professionals. While the NHI fails to address the current crisis, the DA’s Our Health Plan works in practice in the Western Cape, whereas the NHI pilot projects have failed dismally.
Issued by Patricia Kopane, DA Shadow Minister of Health, 4 July 2018