Doing ‘the right thing’ for one’s health, be it eating well, exercising, or going for an annual HIV test or blood pressure check, is easier said than done. One way to nudge people to make these ‘right’ decisions is to offer rewards or incentives. Amy Green asks whether aspects of some popular private-sector incentive schemes might be worth copying in South Africa’s public sector.
Experts describe rising obesity rates in South Africa as an “urgent crisis”, “a tsunami” – even an “epidemic” – that is costing lives, not to mention billions of rands. Tackling the situation warrants an action plan that is as comprehensive and cogent as the problem is dire. But does the new national strategy fit the bill? Amy Green asked several local experts.
The recent budget policy statement shows South Africa finds itself in a very tight fiscal space where it has to navigate a global pandemic along with other health challenges such as rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Russell Rensburg argues that the Health Promotion Levy should be increased to 20% – which will raise much-needed revenue that will contribute to preventing disease and reducing healthcare costs.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa desperately needs to address the increase in the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases as measures to address NCDs to date have not had enough of an impact.