Concern raised about the number of C-sections being performed in SA

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It is embarrassing that 72 % of all baby deliveries in the country’s private health sector are via cesarean section, way above the global average of 15 %. That is according to Advisor to the Health Department on the implementation of the National Health Insurance Doctor Nicholas Crisp.

He has been part of a discussion on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Government Employee Medical Scheme and the Mail and Guardian.

Crisp says the National Health Insurance will address structural challenges in accessing healthcare and remove wastage in both the public and private sectors.

The country currently spends 8.5% of its Gross Domestic Product on healthcare and Crisp says this is sufficient to run a single effective health system.

“It’s a whopping lot of money, it’s very close to half a trillion rand and this is one of our embarrassments in this country. Seventy-two percent of all deliveries in the private sector are done by cesarean section. Why do we do them? There are structural problems with the way we have set up our whole medical scheme environment and in the pricing that makes it beneficial to do it like that. We need to address all of those because that’s bad healthcare. It costs more money and there are many examples like that, that’s just one of our embarrassments in this country.”

Possible corruption in implementation of NHI

During a webinar yesterday, concerns were raised about possible corruption in the implementation of the NHI. This is as the country is dealing with corruption related to coronavirus tenders.

Crisp said they will fight corruption.

“There’s a whole unit to deal with both internal fraud and corruption and the external investigation arm. And you’ve heard about the body that’s been put together with all the law enforcement agencies by the president actually. All I can say is that we are equally concerned as any other citizen that this needs to be sorted out in the systems.”