Universal Health Care in Southern Africa

Policy Contestation in Health System Reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe

Edited by: Greg Ruiters, Robert van Niekerk

The growth in private health care for the middle classes has resulted in deeply segregated and unequal health care, with poor people being relegated to under-resourced and unresponsive public systems, and wealthy minorities receiving world-class treatment at very high prices. - from the Introduction *** This book examines the scope for health care reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Both countries are undergoing significant attempts at reforming inequitable, private sector-dominated, health care systems in the context of fragile, negotiated, social settlements. In South Africa, the government is moving towards introducing a national health insurance scheme that holds the historic promise of introducing social solidarity and effective health care for all its citizens. However, key aspects of the proposed scheme remain unresolved and need to be widely debated. In Zimbabwe, mandatory national health insurance has been discussed for decades without any conclusion being reached or a system implemented. This option needs to be revisited as the economy stabilizes and confidence in governance improves. Based on extensive research, the contributors to this volume examine health care reform in historical context, analyze the views of key stakeholders, and reflect on current proposals for better health financing and more people-centered health systems, based on the principles of universality and social solidarity. Universal Health in Southern Africa is essential reading for academics, health professionals, and policy makers concerned with the historical, ideological, and institutional background to the current policy debate on the commercialization of health care and proposed alternatives, such as a national health system.


236 pages

Publication Date: 10/15/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781869142360