Page of

South Africa: Embracing National Health Insurance—In Name Only

South Africa: Embracing National Health Insurance—In Name Only

Chapter:
(p.89) 4 South Africa: Embracing National Health Insurance—In Name Only
Source:
Achieving Access
Author(s):
Joseph Harris
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501709968.003.0005

Although a constellation of factors would seem to have predisposed South Africa to make major new commitments to expand access to healthcare after the fall of apartheid, embrace of National Health Insurance has taken place in name only more than 20 years later. The chapter suggests that this sad tragedy owes its fate paradoxically to dynamics of political competition that left the African National Congress unrivalled and unchallenged, with a strong mandate to rule. Torn between a desire for radical reform – that would destroy the medical schemes that serve a privileged few – and a more incremental and measured response that would leave them in place, amid a lack of political competition, the ruling party has opted for the status quo. And the entreaties of a professional movement have gone unanswered.

Keywords:   South Africa, history, National Health Insurance, healthcare, medical schemes, health reform, African National Congress, ANC, Apartheid, elections

Sign In

Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy and Legal Notice