In NHI Snippets (2) I made the point that health in South Africa is poor, especially when viewed in light of the country’s relative wealth.
I gave some figures on how many women die from causes related to childbirth. I know these figures can seem very abstract so, as promised, I’ve found a graph (by Jack Langenbrunner) that helps to show how well South Africa does in preventing these deaths compared to other countries.
Click “MMR relative to other countries” to see the graph and here to see the full presentation which includes additional graphs on other health indicators (the link takes you to the Health Systems Trust page with all the conference presentaitons – you will find Jack Langenbrunner’s presenation on Day 2).
As you can see, South Africa does badly when one considers both its average per capita income and its average per capita spending on health (in the graph, countries in the top right block manage to ‘buy’ much less health for the money they have at their disposal). In this sense, South Africa is much less ‘efficient’ than some poorer countries that do much better.