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07 July 2009

Most in SA without medical aid

Only some 14% of South Africans belong to a medical aid scheme, the Health Systems Trust (HST) said on Monday.

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Only some 14% of South Africans belong to a medical aid scheme, the Health Systems Trust (HST) said on Monday.

This left a balance of more than 40 million people without cover and dependent on the public health sector, spokeswoman Fiorenza Monticelli said in a statement distributed at the health informatics SA conference held in Johannesburg on Monday.

The HST, a non-governmental organisation that promotes scientific research on health systems, was releasing its latest district health barometer. It presents key social economic and health indicators for 2007/2008, which include trends over the last four to eight years.

About 21.3% of people in metropolitan areas belonged to a medical aid scheme, as opposed to 5.4% in rural districts. The barometer also found that the amount spent on non-hospital primary health care per person without a medical aid increased, on average, from R238 in 2001 to R302 in 2007.

The Western Cape had the highest expenditure at R428 per person, the Free State the least at R233 per person. Other findings also included that in 2007 a nurse had to attend to about 24 patients a day in a primary health care facility. – (Sapa, July 2009)

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