With the National Health Insurance (NHI) in its final stages and soon heading to Parliament for submission, the Presidency has established a war room to address issues in the public health system.
The President made this announcement in his second State of the Nation Address, which is also the last of the fifth administration.
He said realising the magnitude of the challenges in healthcare, government has established an NHI and quality improvement war room in the Presidency consisting of various key departments to address the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation of the NHI.
The NHI is a health financing system that is designed to pool funds to provide access to quality affordable personal health services and to ensure universal health coverage for all South Africans based on their health needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
“The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities. By applying the principle of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation, we aim to reduce inequality in access to healthcare,” said the President.
The initiative is being implemented in phases over a 14-year period, which started in 2012.
“By introducing the NHI together with a multi-pronged quality improvement programme for public health facilities, we are working towards a massive change in the healthcare experience of South Africans,” said the President.
In October last year, the Presidential Health Summit was convened bringing together key stakeholders from a wide range of constituencies in the health sector.
Issues highlighted at the summit are likely to feed into the much awaited NHI Bill.
“At this Health Summit, the participants dissected the crisis in the health system and proposed immediate, short-term and medium-term solutions to improve the effectiveness of the health system,” said the President. SAnews.gov.za