It was in the early years when we millennials were starting to qualify and receive our degrees when Minister Motsoaledi dropped the National Health Insurance bomb on us. I for one did not understand what it was and what it meant. I did an internship at Dr George Mukhari Academic, a previously disadvantaged hospital from the Apartheid era. I was subsequently compelled to do community service in Thabazimbi Hospital, a hospital in a rural mining town. Working in these two hospitals made me come to one stark conclusion about the healthcare system in South Africa: We had a problem and something needed to change. I was not sure how we could solve this problem, but I knew that we had to solve this sooner rather than later.

My Masters’ research was around implementing quality improvement systems for the supply of medicines. The National Drug Policy (1996) was the foundation of my research. One of the health objectives of the policy document is ‘to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of drugs’. The policy document was published in 1996, at the very dawn of our democracy. The government administration of 1996 had many other issues they could have prioritised, but they chose medicines as one of the first ones to address. Ensuring access to medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality is still as important to me as a millennial pharmacist as it was for the government of 1996. It’s important to ask if this has been achieved in the past 23 years since the adoption of this crucial document. And if the status quo remains, do we stand a chance of achieving this? Is the current healthcare system sustainable?

Read 'Why Female Millennial Healthcare Professionals Should Support Universal Healthcare' here!