Healthcare in South Africa



South Africa’s health care system hinges on both the public and private sectors delivering quality services to all citizens, expatriates, migrants and tourists in need. The public sector offers free basic care to its citizens and expatriates.

Since apartheid toppled in 1994, South Africa has been striving to reach its potential and has developed its health care sector accordingly to become more equitable and accessible to everyone. Over a thousand clinics have been erected or renewed and children under six, along with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, are now entitled to free health care.

The nation's Department of Health has blueprinted what is to be one of the best health care systems in the world. Over 400 provincial and tertiary hospitals have already been constructed with more state-of-the-art medical infrastructure scheduled to be built in the coming years.

Medical doctors who have been planning expatriation with their families may find South Africa to be a good destination as professionals in this field are most welcome. In rural areas, there has a been a marked shortage of physicians and the government has been expending considerable effort trying to fill this gap. This has opened doors for many foreign doctors who have decided to settle and practice in the country.

As authorities step up efforts to provide the utmost quality of health care to all residents, 40% of the national budget is allotted to fulfilling the responsibility of providing health care to some 80% of its 47 million-strong population, the remaining 20% of which is in the hands of the private health sector. 

Expatriates needing medications for prevailing conditions need not worry about the cost of drugs that are relatively low and within reach even of low-income families. Emergency facilities and personnel are also notably reliable as they remain one of the main thrusts of this renewed government drive towards improving health care across the nine provinces.

Indeed, the developments resulting from 1994's racial liberation has paved the way for revolutionary changes in the lives of people through the implementation of health-promoting policies. The benefits that this turn of events have brought upon the country's residents are reflected in the increase of the number of patients using old and refurbished health facilities scattered across the nine provinces. 

Public health care in South Africa has previously been found lacking, so most expatriates prefer extra protection from the private sector for their medical care. Today, in South Africa, the health insurance industry is booming, which means there are many companies to choose from.  It is vital to find an insurer who provides the most fitting health care plan, one that meets the needs of expats.

New beginnings in South Africa have certainly brought a rosier future for all residents of the country in terms of health care. For expats, the prospects of life in this southern African treasure couldn't shine brighter.


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