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Middlebury College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy

Abstract

One important determinant of health in South Africa is how government entities, from the local level to the national level, use their health budgets. A complex system of organizations involving many government employees at the various levels are involved in the process of turning a budget allocation of Rand into healthcare services and goods that make their way to the South African people. What do individuals in the greater Durban area think about that process as it exists currently, and what do they think of the services that are eventually delivered to them? This is an important question, especially in a new democracy facing significant health challenges.

To begin answering this question, the researcher developed nine survey questions that were posed to a total of 35 individuals, including both experts and non-experts, through personal interviews. The data from these interviews was then analyzed for patterns in an attempt to determine if current government healthcare spending strategies align with the priorities and interests of the people that the government is supposed to serve. As a whole, participants were in disagreement about the current quality of government healthcare spending, but thought that it has improved in the recent past and will improve in the near future. Three main issues arose, including the lack of investment in preventative care, the lack of investment in training health professionals, and poor management. The NHI was strongly supported by all participants who knew of its existence and appears to be a system worth the difficulty of its installation.

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health

 

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