Public healthcare pre-1994 better than private sector today – HPCSA’s Letlape

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Outgoing president of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Dr Kgosi Letlape, said that an under-resourced public health sector was a major problem for South Africa.

FILE: A hospital ward. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Outgoing president of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), Dr Kgosi Letlape, claims that “apartheid is still alive in the health sector” given the under-resourced nature of the public sector.

Letlape said that the standard of healthcare in public hospitals pre-1994 was better than what is currently experienced in the private sector today.

However, he said that the private sector was too expensive for the majority of citizens, which he said was “destroying the livelihood of practitioners” working in this sector.

“It is destroying professional autonomy and has become corporatised. You have institutions that decide which doctor will work and which doctor won’t work. We have preferred provider mechanisms and they discriminate against practitioners. We must not fall into this slumberland of thinking that our private sector is working well.”

Letlape said that an under-resourced public health sector was a major problem for South Africa.

“When I started bringing new technologies here in the public sector, those that were in private would come back into the public sector for training. We’ve now in certain disciplines have things are routine and new technologies that are available.”

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