Minister of Health Joe Phaahla told the United Nations (UN) that South Africa has made good progress in transforming the public health sector system.
Phaahla addressed the 78th session of the UN’s General Assembly during a high-level meeting on universal health coverage on Thursday.
This was to provide a comprehensive review of the progress made by member states thus far towards the achievement of universal health coverage by 2030.
The meeting took place under the theme: Universal health coverage: expanding our ambition for health and wellbeing in a post-COVID world.
Phaahla highlighted that South Africa was not spared from the impact of the pandemic on its healthcare systems.
“A major challenge to South Africa has been the perpetuation of a fragmented inequitable two-tier system – one being an expensive, private system for those who can afford, and a public health system for the majority with low income and also the unemployed.”
He said, though, that progress has been made.
“We have made good progress in transforming the public health sector into an integrated national system, with a primary healthcare approach being the underlying philosophy and the foundation of the implementation of a district health system and preparing for the universal health coverage.”