"This uncertainty has seen the Global Fund slash its last round of grants by 10 percent in December 2008," Zingoni explains. "The Global Fund now requires recipients to scale back expenditures through procuring cheaper alternatives. Thus, in this recession, Frost & Sullivan expects generic drugs to continue to increase their market share at the expense of branded drug products."
Although most donor countries have committed to keeping their promises, and the World Bank has also promised to triple healthcare aid in 2009, it remains clear that these pledges will remain subject to the duration and depth of this crisis.
As the effect of the crisis has been particularly harsh on the mining sector, it has also impacted on medical aid schemes in Africa. These schemes cater mostly for the mining sector and are now faced with dwindling membership bases as massive layoffs occur across the region.
"In South Africa, cash-strapped members of medical schemes are also migrating from comprehensive cover to less expensive packages," Zingoni adds. "The market share of generics has also surged ahead of branded drug products, as patients seek to avoid co-payments."
However, Zingoni emphasises that, despite these challenges, there is a golden lining for the continent's healthcare sector.
"It is important to realise that the apparent lag of the impact of this crisis in Africa can be utilised to the continent's advantage," says Zingoni. "It gives countries, and companies, time to weather the storm before the global economy begins to recover."
Despite governments facing budget deficits, if they can pursu
|SOURCE Frost & Sullivan|
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