oa South African Health Review - Public sector financing : chapter 5

Volume 2000, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



The funding of the public health care system in South Africa has reached a critical juncture. While much was done to improve equity in the funding of public health care in the first few years of democratic government, this trend appears to have reversed. Data on public health expenditure and human resources, from a recent National Health Accounts Project, are presented. They reveal that from 1997 there have been declines in the public per capita funding of health care, increased inequity in provincial resource allocation and even a decline in per capita funding of primary health care. Furthermore, projections of future revenue availability suggest a continued decline in per capita funding of the public health sector. All these factors should sound alarm bells for a government committed to the equitable provision of primary health care through the district health care system. In response, the chapter concludes by examining possible policy options for government to renew its attack on inequity in health funding.

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