Percutaneous coronary intervention still not accessible for many South Africans

Willem Stassen, Lee Wallis, Craig Lambert, Maaret Castren, Lisa Kurland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The incidence of myocardial infarction is rising in Sub-Saharan Africa. In order to reduce mortality, timely reperfusion by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or thrombolysis followed by PCI is required. South Africa has historically been characterised by inequities in healthcare access based on geographic and socioeconomic status. We aimed to determine the coverage of PCI-facilities in South Africa and relate this to access based on population and socio-economic status. Methods This cross-sectional study obtained data from literature, directories, organisational databases and correspondence with Departments of Health and hospital groups. Data was analysed descriptively while Spearman's Rho sought correlations between PCI-facility resources, population, poverty and medical insurance status. Results South Africa has 62 PCI-facilities. Gauteng has the most PCI-facilities (n = 28) while the Northern Cape has none. Most PCI-facilities (n = 48; 77%) are owned by the private sector. A disparity exists between the number of private and state-owned PCI-facilities when compared to the poverty (r = 0.01; p = 0.17) and insurance status of individuals (r = −0.4; p = 0.27). Conclusion For many South Africans, access to PCI-facilities and primary PCI is still impossible given their socio-economic status or geographical locale. Research is needed to determine the specific PCI-facility needs based on geographic and epidemiological aspects, and to develop a contextualised solution for South Africans suffering a myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-107
Number of pages3
JournalAfrican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Healthcare access
  • Myocardial infarction
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Gerontology
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Critical Care Nursing


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