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Less than 17% of SA households have medical aid – survey

Stats SA says access to medical aid is determined by wealth while about 70% of households use public health facilities.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The 2017 General Household Survey has revealed that less than 17% of South African households have medical aid.

Stats SA released the report at a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is addressing a briefing on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which has been approved by Cabinet.

The NHI is hoped to bring about universal health coverage in the country.

Stats SA’s Isabelle Schmidt says access to medical aid is determined by wealth.

“We see that coverage is best in our wealthiest provinces in South Africa, which is in the Western Cape, where we find around the quarter of the population has access to medical aid. The lowest is Limpopo and Eastern Cape where less than 10% have access to medical aid.”

She says about 70% of households use public health facilities.

“In most cases, South Africans still go to public health facilities as the first port of call when they are sick or need medical attention. Only 27% of the South African population use private facilities.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)