The Difficulties with Healthcare Accessibility

Access to healthcare is very difficult in many places including South Africa. Healthcare has many inequities, mainly because of issues in allocating resources through out the country. The rural areas have it especially hard with traveling costs being high and access barriers for going long distances hindering access. There is also difficultly with the amount of out-of-pocket payments being very high and patients feeling like they have no power.

The remnants of apartheid still has an affect on South Africa’s healthcare. There are vast differences in resource availability because of socio-economic differences and between rural-urban areas. There are huge gaps between the public and private sector and it is still very hard to gather information about the access for the general population.

A survey was conducted back in 2008 sampling households opinions on healthcare in South Africa. Information was gathered on their health status, use of outpatient visits, inpatient services, health-insurance status, reasons for deferring care when ill. The study also took a look at the distance and travel access, the affordability and more.

They found:

  • 17.8% who were in poor health, were in need of treatment within the next month.
  • The rich needed less care but the socio-economic status of the ill or injured was pretty evenly distribute.
  • People with only a primary education or less needed more care than people with higher education.
  • Black Africans also reported worse health compared to other groups.

I found that the issue of accessibility to healthcare tied in well with the movie Yesterday. We watched as the mother had few options for traveling to the clinic, and once there it was never a promise she would be seen. The doctor tried her hardest but she admitted that there were not enough resources to help all the people that came.


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