Healthcare Market Insights for South Africa

Healthcare Market Synopsis

56.4 mn
US$ 347.3 bn
Healthcare spending:
US$ 31.1 bn
HIV/Aids prevalence (2016):
7 mn
Life expectancy (2015):
Live births:
Crude death rate (2016):
8.17 per 1,000
Diabetes-related deaths:
DALYs lost to non-communicable diseases:

Source: Statistics South Africa/Health Systems Trust South Africa/ 2017 figures from Fitch Solutions

Disease Burden

While South Africa’s largest killer remains the HIV/AIDS epidemic, nearly 100 South Africans die of heart attacks or strokes each day, although this figure is significantly less than the 1,000 people that are estimated to die of AIDS. More than 7 million adults smoke, around 6.3 million suffer from hypertension, and 5 million have high cholesterol.

According to Fitch Solutions’ Disease Database, over 9.35 million disabilityadjusted life years (DALYs) were lost to noncommunicable diseases in 2017, compared to 10.64 million DALYs lost to communicable diseases. By 2030, the DALYs lost to noncommunicable diseases, as a percentage of total DALYs will increase to 61.2%, compared to 24.7% for communicable diseases.

According to the 2016 UNAIDS report, around 7 million people in South Africa have HIV/AIDS, with 180,000 associated deaths recorded in 2015. The country also had the highest rate of new HIV infections in the world at over 380,000 in 2015.

Over the long term, HIV/AIDS will continue to place tremendous demands on the country’s health system and the economy as the disease affects all age groups and both sexes.

According to Globocan, the number of new cases of cancer in South Africa will increase by nearly 49% by 2030 compared to 2012. The majority of these new cases will come from males and females over the age of 65. Prostate, breast, lung, cervical and colorectal cancers will dominate the oncology therapeutic landscape, with Globocan data suggesting that these conditions will collectively account for 51% of the total number of new cases in 2030.

Similarly, lifestyle-related diseases are a growing concern for the South African government. The IDF estimates that 5.5% of the adult population in South Africa is currently diagnosed with diabetes and that in 2017: there were 1.55 million cases of diabetes in adults that were undiagnosed. This is a concern as there are numerous medical complications that can result from diabetes, leading to considerable indirect healthcare costs.