Review Article

Subversion of digital Darwinism in public healthcare facilities in South Africa

Amos Shibambu
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 12, No 1 | a745 | DOI: | © 2024 Amos Shibambu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2023 | Published: 10 January 2024

About the author(s)

Amos Shibambu, Department of Information Science, College of Human Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Public healthcare facilities in South Africa need to face a complex and ever-changing environment with full versatility to avoid becoming victims of digital Darwinism. Digital Darwinism commences when technologies and society change faster than the ability of companies to adapt to changes. Currently, the historical medical records of patients and dispensing of medication are created or performed manually on paper and in books.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the subversion of digital Darwinism in public health-care facilities in South Africa.

Methods: The systematic literature review was used to collect secondary data in the form of empirical studies on digital Darwinism and digital technologies in public hospitals limited to articles published between 2015 and 2022.

Results: Findings indicate that public healthcare facilities use books and papers, as an indication that they are at an advanced stage of falling victim to digital Darwinism because they have not implemented technologies to manage patient records and recording of dispensing of medication.

Conclusion: It is concluded that the government should evade digital Darwinism by implementing cloud computing in order to provide omnipresent healthcare services.

Contribution: This study promotes convenience in terms of accessing records and it induces the national Department of Health to use technology in public healthcare facilities in order to deliver convenient services.


digital Darwinism; digital technology; public healthcare; public sector; South Africa

JEL Codes

D83: Search • Learning • Information and Knowledge • Communication • Belief • Unawareness

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure


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