Prof Chetty with SAMA chair, Dr Angelique Coetzee

South Africa’s healthcare system does not need private solutions to public problems, but rather a joint solution with public private participation.

Nonetheless, KZNDHC Conference delegates were told, the private sector has much to offer in terms of financial resources, people’s skills and experience and an investment in public infrastructure and services.

Making these points when introducing his conference’s managed healthcare session on the future of healthcare in SA in Durban at the weekend, KZNDHC chair, Prof Morgan Chetty, reminded his audience that private public partnership (PPP) is defined as “a contract between public sector institutions and a private party in which the private party assumes a substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the design, financing, building and operations of a project”.

He went on to intimate that such contracts were now becoming essential to meet challenges such as the rising burden of chronic disease.

“A high number of people with complex care needs in particular,” he stressed, “require a delivery system that brings together a range of professionals and skills for both long-term and social care. Failure to better integrate and co-ordinate services along the care continuum may result in sub-optimal care as well as impact on quality, outcomes and ultimately the cost of care.”

These considerations were particularly pertinent to the nature and objectives of universal healthcare (UHC) which, Chetty added, underpins the idea that “health is a right for all and not a privilege for few”.

Photo caption: Prof Chetty with SA Medical Association (SAMA) chair, Dr Angelique Coetzee