Over the past decade, "crisis" has been used to describe the provision of public health services in SA. But it would be unfair to describe the entire system as crisis-ridden. Certain sectors of the system are approaching a dysfunctional state while in others achievements have been made. For some years now, a string of research reports have pointed to various crises in the health sector. In 2016 an Econex report warned that the number of doctors available was half the average in a middle-income country. The Office of Health Standards Compliance concluded in a 2016 study that most public hospitals were not functioning even close to adequate levels. The Future Health Index ranked SA last among 19 nations in a global survey that measured healthcare system efficiency. Since 2011, due to the financial crisis that began in 2008, per capita expenditure on health has been static or negative, the 2017 South African Health Review published by the Health Systems Trust reads. The sector has resp...

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