Dawie Roodt took to the podium at yesterday’s crisis summit on the National Health Insurance (NHI), hosted by Solidarity Occupational Guilds for Health Practitioners. He highlighted the story of economy, and the role economy plays in South Africa’s health system.
The concept of private property did not exist in the beginning of humanity, and life expectancy was not very long, but that changed over time as we domesticated animals and plants. With animals and plants domesticated, we could concentrate on other things instead of just surviving, like inventing the wheel, having set professions and having a democracy. It was only then that private property started to play a bigger role. We then started to educate our children and later on sent our girl children to school as well, which affected the population as woman started having kids much later on. Besides the few changes named here many other things happened in between and thereafter. The golden tread that runs through all of this was and is progression.
Roodt said South Africa will miss the next wave of economic growth due to demographic dividend [demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country’s population. The change in age structure is typically brought on by a decline in fertility and mortality rates] because of the inferior quality of the education system.
In addition to this, we have a hugely destructive government, with many institutions having been undermined. The actual damage that was done was not only to the intuitions but to the people of South Africa, and the health service is only one of the spheres affected. Two thirds of local authorities in the country are dysfunctional.
Government is in a very bad financial state. They cannot afford to give a cent more to South Africa’s health system. To fix the system we must first focus on the quality of education before anything else can be done.
Roodt suggested blockchain technology as a solution to the private health systems problem.
Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, blockchain technology is an undeniably ingenious invention. By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone for a new type of internet.
Dawie Roodt is the founding member, director and chief economist of the Efficient Group. Dawie is a well-known South African economist with more than 30 years’ experience. He specialises in monetary and fiscal policy, and is actively involved in the management of client asset portfolios. Dawie is South Africa’s most cited economist. For 12 years, he has been the anchor presenter of the TV programme, Ontbytsake. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Economy (cum laude), is a South African Reserve Bank economist and has already presented more than 800 TV programmes and 1 500 radio programmes. In addition to being the economic editor of a financial magazine, he is also a columnist for a number of publications. He is a member of BUSA and NEDLAC, the Directors’ Institute of South Africa and the SAIRR.