The Republic of South Africa health sector is predominantly an out-of-pocket therefore price sensitive market. About 84% of the population depends on the public healthcare system, while the remnant small percentage use private healthcare. Only 16% of the population is covered by medical aid schemes regulated by the Medical Schemes Control Act of 1998. The rest pay for private care “out of pocket” or through in-hospital only plans.
The physician ratio is 40.7/10,000 this translates to estimated one government-employed doctor for every 2,457 people not covered by medical aid. In private care, one medical aid-registered doctor sees between 429 and 571 people. The recommended ratio by the World Health Organization is 1:1,000.
There are more than 400 public hospitals and more than 200 private hospitals. The provincial health departments manage the larger regional hospitals directly. Smaller hospitals and primary care clinics are managed at district level.