The future of healthcare in Africa
Healthcare demands in Africa are changing. Ensuring access to clean water and sanitation, battling ongoing communicable diseases and stemming the tide of preventable deaths still dominate the healthcare agenda in many countries. However, the incidence of chronic disease is rising fast, creating a new matrix of challenges for Africa’s healthcare workers, policy makers and donors.A growing urban middle class is willing to pay for better treatment. This has opened the door to the private sector, which is starting to play a new role, often working in partnership with donors and governments to provide better healthcare facilities and increased access to medicine at an affordable price.For the vast majority of Africans still unable to pay for health provision, new models of care are being designed, as governments begin to acknowledge the importance of preventive methods over curative action.
This, in turn, is empowering communities to make their own healthcare decisions. At the same time, some countries are experimenting with different forms of universal health provision.Africa’s healthcare systems are at a turning point. The reforms that governments undertake over the next decade will be crucial to cutting mortality rates and improving health outcomes in the continent. The Economist Intelligence Unit has undertaken this research to focus on how African healthcare systems might develop between now and 2022. It looks at both current challenges and promising reforms. The five scenarios that have emerged from this research reflect these trends, and are intended to show the possible consequences of decisions being taken by healthcare’s stakeholders today.
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A report from the Economist Intelligence Unitsponsored by Janssen