Individual South Africans can influence the COVID-19 mortality rate by doing all they can to slow down the spread of the virus. According to healthcare actuary Shivani Ranchod this is an “all-hands-on-deck” scenario to flatten the curve. Ranchod is a member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and CEO of Percept Actuaries and Consultants.
Ranchod points out that while 80% of cases will present with mild symptoms, the remaining 20% will require some engagement with the health system. “All of these cases will be at risk if we do not manage our health system effectively. This means minimising elective use of the system, using telehealth solutions where possible and to keep healthy in all other respects. Close co-operation between the public and private sectors will help to maximise the available resources.”
She further believes that the COVID-19 pandemic may even lead to the permanent strengthening of South Africa’s health system through the prioritisation of initiatives like telehealth, the adoption of which has been slowed down by outdated Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) rules.
“This crisis situation will force us to do things differently, thereby creating a new template for running our system. This is not to say that the service delivery failures in our system are not going to be accentuated – they are going to be.”
Ranchod further cautions South Africans to use verified statistics from trusted sources to protect the collective, not to spread fear and promote self-interest.
Click here to read the media release that also highlights the impact of COVID-19.