Achievements and Challenges: Health


The Freedom Charter commits us to a preventive health scheme run by the state; Free medical care and hospitalisation provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children.There have been many achievements in improving access to health care, however much more still needs to be done in terms of quality of care, making services available to all South Africans and ensuring better health outcomes. The ANC government will aim to reduce inequalities in our health system, improve quality of care and public facilities, and boost our human resources and step up the fight against HIV and AIDS and other diseases. Health reforms will involve mobilisation of available resources in both private and public health sectors to ensure improved health outcomes for all South Africans. In practical terms, the ANC government will:

  • Work together with all key sectors in our society through a social compact to continue to transform the health care.
  • Introduce the National Health Insurance System (NHI) system, which will be phased in over the next five years. NHI will be publicly funded and publicly administered and will provide the right of all to access quality health care, which will be free at the point of service. People will have a choice of which service provider to use within a district. In the implementation of the NHI there will be an engagement with the private sector in general, including private doctors working in group practices and hospitals, to encourage them to participate in the NHI system.
  • Improve quality standards for both public and private sectors, which will include specific targets for the provision of adequate numbers of workers at all levels of the health care system, including recruitment, training and filling of vacant posts. There will also be a focus on increasing health worker training output in the public sector – including through re-opening of nursing training colleges. There will also be improvements in the working conditions and provision of decent wages for workers.
  • Improve management and leadership skills at all levels of the health system, as well as meeting the national standards of quality care and ensuring an explicit accountability framework.
  • Upgrade and improve public hospitals and clinics, as well as the administrative systems and buildings so that long queues and waiting times are reduced and improved quality care is available.
  • Reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% through aggressive prevention campaign and expand access to appropriate treatment, care and support to at least 80% of all HIV positive people and their families. More resources will be devoted to strengthening the implementation of the national plan on HIV and AIDS and STI. Partnerships will be built with labour, business and community organisations to step-up the national fight against HIV and AIDS.
  • Improve the health status of the population and achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This will includes measures to scale up HIV prevention, address the challenge of TB and reduce child HIV infection rates through upscaling the Prevention for Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV to 95%in all districts.
  • Accelerate the campaigns on health promotion and disease-prevention by changing social values and norms through common community action. Furthermore, communities will be encouraged to adopt healthy diets and to exercise and to take part in campaigns against drug and substance abuse.
  • Continue to raise awareness about addressing sexual and reproductive health rights of women and strengthen the enforcement of these rights, as well as ensuring that they are incorporated in the HIV and AIDS programmes.
  • Review existing drug policy and strategy to support effective implementation of the NHI and strengthen the managerial and technical capacity of government. Government will also conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of a state-owned pharmaceutical company.
  • Invest in research and development in the health sector, including infant mortality research, HIV prevention technologies, health status surveys, development of new medicines, and indigenous knowledge systems.

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