Rights-Based Approach to Human Development: Access to Health Care in Blouberg Municipality, South Africa

W. Rammutla Chuene, Oliver Mtapuri


South Africa subscribes to universal health care coverage. Health care access has four dimensions: geographic accessibility, availability, financial accessibility and acceptability. Human rights instruments guarantee the right of everyone to health care access. However, the existence of such a right is not necessarily a proof of their actual enjoyment by those who are entitled to them. This study assessed these dimensions. The study used a quantitative approach in which a questionnaire was used. The health care centre is not within a 25 km radius of some of the consumers of health care while the roads are in poor condition, the community cannot afford transport fares. Travelling distance and time; and scarce skills and lack of medication and equipment constitute the demand-side and supply-side barriers respectively to health care access. As such health care users have resorted to using the services of churches and traditional healers. This study recommends a new model of delivery of health that Government should co-ordinate primary health care services in collaboration with churches and traditional healers; commission research into traditional health medicine and healing procedures and protocols of other health care providers; develop policy on cross-referral of patients; improve community participation; set minimum norms and standards for the delivery of alternative health care services; establish health care management guidelines for churches and traditional healers in order to provide health care in an integrated manner.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p520

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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