oa South African Health Review - Health care financing and expenditure : pooling of resources and purchasing of health care

Volume 2007 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



This chapter provides an overview of health care financing and expenditure in South Africa. It reviews total health care expenditure in 2005, as well as recent trends in spending in the public and private health sectors. While public sector health care expenditure has been relatively stagnant in real per capita terms over the last decade, expenditure in the private sector has continued increasing at rates far exceeding the rate of inflation despite medical schemes covering a declining share of the population. Differentials in the public-private health sector, in terms of the financial and human resources available in each sector relative to the population served, have increased dramatically. It is critical that these diverging trends be urgently addressed, both through increased tax funding of public sector services and efforts to promote improved efficiency within the private health sector.

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