Globally, billions of people have poor access to health services in their respective countries. This poor access to healthcare services has devastating health, social and economic consequences for many of those that are affected by it and leaves many countries with dilapidated healthcare systems. It deprives them of their inherent right to access proper health care services. Africa is not spared the healthcare dilemma and is rated among the leading continents with poor healthcare systems among its countries.
In Africa, United Nations (UN) has reported that less than half of African citizens (48 % of the African continent population) have adequate access to proper health care services. Contributing factors include neglect and underfunding in different African countries. Moreover, inadequate human resources in the form of health care professionals and service providers and corruption are a problem in many African countries regarding service delivery to the people. The recent outbreak of Coronavirus highlighted this challenge in South Africa, where the health ministry and different companies were rocked with corruption and looting of state resources. Top officials and different companies were implicated in Covid-19 funds corruption, while different health institutions in the country were reported to be short of equipment to fight Covid-19. All these challenges adversely affect the people and lead to poverty, mortality, and abuse of an inherent human right: access to quality healthcare services.
As part of the solutions, South Africa, including other African countries, can adopt a safety net approach to the health care of its citizens by creating health care schemes for all, including maximum free health care services for those without income. Improved recruitment, capacity building, and training of healthcare workers. Zero tolerance to corruption and nepotism by governments towards health care services, though ensuring funding is adequately allocated to health services and qualified people are given the responsibility to lead and provide health care services to the people. The other solution could be using technology to ensure remote and isolated areas access healthcare services, such as using drones to deliver medical services to people in rural areas with limited healthcare service providers.
The aforementioned challenges are some of the challenges faced by the healthcare systems in South Africa. Many other challenges are prevalent in African countries, but if the intervention can start with the mentioned ones, much-needed relief to the already stressed health systems in many countries will be achieved. Private healthcare service providers must also be mobilized and recruited to put in a hand as they also benefit, particularly pharmaceutical companies and insurance schemes. If hands can be put together, this challenge can be addressed, many lives saved, and the right to access quality health care services achieved for many African countries.