In 16 years of covering healthcare for the SA Medical Journal, I never came across such a strong synthesis of data bolstering the contention that we get dismal bang for our public-sector healthcare buck. Here data analyst Zach de Beer, overlays the WHO country rankings with the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, the GINI Co-efficient from the Central Intelligence Agency’s 2010 report, the Freedom From Corruption Heritage Foundation Report and the World Economic Forum’s global competitivenessrankings. SA ranks 176th on healthcare outcomes versus per capita spending. Compare this with similar countries; Columbia, ranked 29th, and Morocco, ranked 22nd. Morocco spends four times more per capita on health than SA, yet we spend twice the WHO-recommended amount and rank close to last. The data shows that inequality has little to do with the quality/performance of national healthcare systems – and we’re spending handsomely considering our tax base. Also, very few countries have good WHO rankings and bad corruption scores, (Italy, Malta and Greece). Conclusions? Our public healthcare system is inefficient and corrupt and must do more for less, while the anti-competitive private sector must learn to be less greedy. Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi would strongly argue our unique quadruple burden of disease and islands of global healthcare excellence, but the data remains telling. – Chris Bateman….more