The sharing of trends and data is one of the most overlooked elements
when it comes to developing an effective healthcare system.
“There is an identified need for the smart usage of captured data; this
means that neither private nor public healthcare administrators can continue
functioning in silos,” Charles Dalton, Senior Health Specialist at the
International Finance Corporation (IFC), warned when addressing delegates to
the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) Conference in Cape Town this week.
He also warned that, while universal access to healthcare remained an
ideal, the systematic trust deficiency caused by corruption with government-run
programmes is one of the key concerns that should be addressed.
“What is needed to ensure that universal healthcare is attainable is
creating a system where established systems and delivery of quality healthcare
services are enhanced by technology. There is an evident need to embrace
technology to heighten the function and delivery of healthcare professionals,”
“There are numerous variables that need to be considered when designing
systems that allow successful universal healthcare delivery by 2030. These
include understanding different country’s nuances and cultures, understanding
that healthcare systems can never successfully operate in silos, and
understanding the true value of collaboration between the public and private
sectors,” he added.
Sharing statistics from Healthdata,
Dalton was able to show that South Africa was making encouraging progress in
the quality healthcare table. Measured using healthcare access and quality
(HAQ) metrics, South Africa is ranked 127 on the quality healthcare table and
achieved a score of 50 on HAQ. The country trails Brazil, its counterpart in
BRICS, which scored 64 on HAQ, and Turkey, which notched 74.
However, South Africa scored 62 HAQ on breast cancer, Brazil 63 and
Turkey 70, while South Africa recorded 60 HAQ on cervical cancer, Brazil 56 and
Turkey 63. On stroke and diabetes, the country notched up 53 and 24
respectively, while Brazil recorded 41 and 58 and Turkey 66 and 71
Kenya was singled out as a country with the second-best healthcare
system in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dalton went on to note that recent studies have found that over the past
decade there has been a significant decrease in non-communicable diseases in
sub-Saharan Africa and an evident increase in communicable diseases: “The point
of concern that should be currently addressed is the reality that sub-Saharan
Africa currently does not have systems in place to effectively attend to and
manage the rise in non-communicable diseases,” he added, reminding his audience
that the value of healthcare can be measured through the quality of care over
the cost of care.