Pretoria – South Africa’s model of healthcare delivery has to shift from being hospi-centric to a more preventative one if the country is to win the fight against disease.
This is according to Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who was speaking at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Diseases in Moscow, Russia on Friday.
The conference is attended by health ministers from across the world, as well as United Nations (UN) Chief Ban Ki-Moon and World Health Organisation (WHO) Head Margaret Chan.
Since his appointment as Health Minister, Motsoaledi has always expressed concerns around the hospi-centric model of health delivery in South Africa, describing it as too expensive and not sustainable.
“Waiting for people to first get ill and then receive them in hospitals for treatment is not a correct model of health delivery,” he said on Friday.
Motsoaledi further told the delegates that South Africa was now shifting focus to primary healthcare (PHC) and the country has embarked on an extensive programme to re-engineer PHC services. “Our PHC model places focus on prevention of diseases and health promotion”, he said.
South Africa is one of the countries in the world with a high burden of non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension, cancers and diabetes, with Type 2 diabetes becoming more prominent among teenagers.
“A lot of these diseases are caused by poor diet, tobacco, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise,” he said.- BuaNews