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Fewer than 17% of South African belong to med aid schemes - Stats SA

Stats SA’s Isabelle Schmidt says this figure has remained largely unchanged for more than a decade.

Picture: Refilwe Thobega/EWN

PRETORIA - Stats SA says that over a 15-year period since 2002, fewer than 17% of South Africa’s population have been members of medical aid schemes.

The figures were released at a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday shortly before Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced changes to how medical aid schemes operate and how the National Health Insurance (NHI) will be implemented.

The 2017 General Household Survey reveals that in Gauteng and the Western Cape, considered wealthier provinces, about a quarter of the population are members of medical aid schemes.

But on average, the national figure reveals that fewer than 17% of people are part of schemes.

Stats SA’s Isabelle Schmidt says this figure has remained largely unchanged for more than a decade.

"We've seen a relatively stable pattern over time between 2002 and 2017 of around 17% of the population having access to medical aid."

The figures also reveal that only a quarter of the public use private healthcare facilities.

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