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Corruption Watch to release report on corruption in SA’s health sector

The organisation said it hoped its findings would lead to a change for the over 80% of South Africans who rely on the country’s 4,300 public health facilities.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption Watch is expected to release a report on Wednesday on cases of healthcare corruption reported by members of the public over the past eight years.

The report is titled X-Ray: The critical state of the health sector in South Africa.

Corruption Watch said that it hoped its findings would lead to a change for the over 80% of South Africans who rely on the country’s 4,300 public health facilities.

It’s been two years since a Presidential Health Summit found that corruption is the biggest hindrance to healthcare in both the public and private sectors.

Patients and staff have borne the brunt of fraudulent claims, pharmaceutical companies inflating prices, and over-billing by service providers.

The Council for Medical Schemes estimated that fraud in private health care amounted to R22 billion a year and according to the Special Investigating Unit, fraud, waste, and abuse in health care totaled R39 billion a year.

In Gauteng alone, Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku budgeted R19.8 billion in 2020 just for medical litigation - that’s nearly a third of his R56 billion budget.

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum, a collaboration between government, the private sector, and NGO’s to prevent, detect, and prosecute fraud and corruption in the health sector.

The Corruption Watch report would show if ordinary South Africans are starting to see any change in the very institutions meant to save their lives.

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