n African Journal of Rhetoric - Decolonising South African public health care system : the case of diabetes

Volume 11 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


The injustices of the colonial and apartheid systems negatively affected the public health care system in South Africa. This particular sector experienced major inequalities in the service availability and delivery in public health care, inequalities is still noticeable even today due to the negative effects of the past on present times. This paper focuses on the need for patient-centred care in diabetes management with a decolonial discourse in an attempt to ‘re-humanise’ the previously ‘de-humanised.’ Diabetes mellitus (DM) is also more prevalent in Indian and African races. The public health care system in South Africa supported the biomedical approach to health care, which was doctor-centred and thus excluded the individual patient from treatment selection. The biopsychosocial approach promoted patient-centred care and allowed for a two-way flow of communication from the HCP (Health care professional) to the patient to be able to manage this lifestyle illness. After South Africa obtained its freedom in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) policy for health care aimed to provide adequate public health care, which is patient-orientated for all South Africans. However, the country still has a long way to go before individual patient-centred care can be achieved equally for all South Africans.

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