It's time for the healthcare sector to harness its collective capability and build around our people a fortress of UHC – every CEO, insurer, professor, doctor, nurse, patient and person who lives in this country should consider what they can do to contribute, raising their levels of engagement and placing their brick in the wall
There comes a moment in every country's history, where one generation needs to make a choice – an extraordinary choice – for the benefit of the next. This choice is typically made under conditions of uncertainty, high levels of opposition and conflicting views of how the future could play out. And the people who need to make this choice are often criticized, ostracized and unappreciated. But when the choice involves the greater good – the benefit of the collective – then the decision needs to be made. It needs to be understood. And it needs to be supported. Such is the choice – the brave and bold decision, the hope for our future – that underpins the move towards implementing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in South Africa.
It is a transition that is feared and opposed because there are very few who can see the end game. Some see the further deterioration in an already broken system of health; some see financial challenges to their existing business models and the state; and some see a continued wastage of limited resources. Many more fear the loss of their dignity; they fear the pain and humiliation; they fear their own preventable death, the loss of loved ones and the inhumane suffering that is the outcome of the lack of access to quality, affordable healthcare.
All these views and fears need to be seen and heard, so that we avoid repeating mistakes of the past. The old minds, the divisive voices, the extremists, the populists, the ones who are rooted in their historical successes or are trying to protect their positions of power: those are the ones to be feared because they will sacrifice the future to preserve their interests of the past.
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