Gratitude for our Health Care system

I’m not a fan of the latest fad on facebook to nominate people to publically do gratitude.  That being said it has inspired me to do a little gratitude for the South African Health Care system.  A system that I think we do not always appreciate enough!

I have been very blessed to have had exposure to other African country’s health systems and I made this list after collating field notes after visiting health facilities in Zambia, Tanzania and Angola.

Yes there are South Africans especially in the Eastern Cape and the Free State that would find the below little list all too familiar however most of us can appreciate that:

  • We do not need to walk for hours to reach the closest very basic health care facility
  • We do not need to arrange for our own transport when our condition is too serious at a health care facility and we need referral
  • We do not need to arrange our own transport when involved in a motor vehicle accident
  • Our own transport does not involve ox wagons, wheel barrows or being carried by our neighbour
  • When admitted to hospital, as part of the service we are fed and we do not have to rely on our family to sleep outside of the facility in order to bring us meals during meal times
  • Hospitals have safe running tap water, we do not need to walk 700 meters to the closest pitted well for water to take our tablets
  • We generally work at a better ratio than 7 doctors giving orders whilst  1 nurse executes the orders
  • If we are assaulted we can go to the hospital first and the police later as opposed to vice versa in these countries
  • We do not follow a “gross triage protocol” where you are extubated in the emergency centre should there not be enough beds in ICU.  If you survive extubation you go to the ward.  If you don’t survive it, well then you don’t really need a bed do you?
  • We have Ambulance services that are run by qualified prehospital practitioners with equipment and supplies inside of them as opposed to a stretcher and single driver system
  • We have created a capacity to deal with major incidents
  • Most of our waiting rooms and areas at health care facilities are inside a building, offering some protection against environmental elements like wind, rain, cold.

So today I’m simply saying thank you for our health care system in South Africa.  We are blessed in so many ways.

IMG_6039 Hand washing facility in health care facility

IMG_5887 Waiting area. 


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