SA Health Perspective

The Future Health Index 2016 is an international survey which “… highlights the opportunities and barriers to a more connected and integrated form of healthcare that will better serve future generations. By measuring the attitudes and opinions of patients, healthcare professionals and industry thought leaders, this study seeks to identify key areas where digital innovation has the potential to improve not just the provision of healthcare, but overall health and well-being.”

The Minister of Health’s view that the cost of healthcare in South Africa is exorbitant is supported by this study which reveals that we are in fact the worst of all countries surveyed.

The top ten causes of death reflect an entirely different picture from the rest of the world, reflecting our unique challenges. The number 1 cause remains Aids/HIV, while “interpersonal violence” is 8th on the list.

Some Key Findings

  1. The overall health of the population is viewed as less of a challenge than other key issues affecting the country, particularly crime.
  2. Healthcare professionals and patients differ on the effectiveness of the health system in meeting the needs of the population, particularly when comparing the public and private systems. South Africa’s healthcare system is one of the lowest-rated by its citizens among the 13 countries surveyed.
  3. Cost is a bigger barrier to healthcare, overall, than in any other country surveyed.
  4. Although South Africa’s health system is not considered very integrated at present, patients and healthcare professionals alike see clear value in future integration.
  5. To realize a fully integrated health system, concerns regarding cost must be addressed. Both patients and healthcare professionals worry that integration of the health system could lead to healthcare becoming more expensive in the long term.
  6. Openness to connected care technologies raises South Africa’s connected care technology adoption index score above the average, with South African healthcare professionals and patients acknowledging the benefits of connected care across the health continuum.
  7. As with integrated health, connected care technologies face concerns regarding cost.
  8. Patients and healthcare professionals agree that individuals are fully responsible for managing their health. However, there is a disconnect on whether patients have the ability and knowledge to do so.

Please click here for a summary of the findings on South Afric

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