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'Emigration is threatening private healthcare in South Africa'

30 October 2020 2:01 PM

"The insured population is potentially emigrating," says Jessica Spira. But, the main concern is healthcare workers leaving.

Private healthcare is bleeding.

Faced with increased emigration and a shrinking insured population, the risks facing private healthcare providers in South Africa is increasing.

© andreypopov/123rf.com

For one, the first Covid-19 peak (there may yet be a second) was shorter than expected while many non-Covid patients stayed away for fear of contracting the virus while in hospital.

In addition, measures to control the pandemic all but wiped out less-contagious infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality at RMB.

Sector reckons private hospital are, right now, running at 60% of their capacity.

Not all medical procedures can be put off indefinitely, so Spira expects some improvement in the next few months.

The future of the private healthcare sector is unclear… it’s well-run… but it needs volume, and it needs people to take out medical insurance…

Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality - RMB

To the extent that people leave the country, the private healthcare system comes under strain… the insured population is potentially emigrating… There’s a large concern of healthcare workers emigrating…

Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality - RMB

The volumes in the private sector continue to be lower than expected… people are still fearful of going to the hospital; they're still delaying elective surgeries. There are also fewer seasonal infections, because of social distancing, better hygiene…

Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality - RMB

I anticipate a slight shrinkage [in the number of private hospitals] … one could see this as a positive… more focus on value-based care… and remote care…

Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality - RMB

It’s encouraging to see how the collaboration between public and private healthcare has lifted the entire sector. It’s fantastic to see the sharing of knowledge and resources with a common goal… Maybe it’s an alternative to an NHI?

Jessica Spira, Sector Head for Healthcare and Hospitality - RMB

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


30 October 2020 2:01 PM

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