Apr 2014

NHI: Quality health care for all of SA

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
South Africa is making significant progress with the National Health Insurance (NHI) - a financing system that will make sure all South Africans get essential health care, regardless of how much they earn.

The NHI aims to eliminate the barriers limiting access to health care. National Treasury is working with the Department of Health to examine the required funding arrangements for NHI.

Government has put in place the building blocks for NHI such as re-engineering primary health care.

The NHI will address the country’s health burden and ensure that South Africans become a healthy, productive nation.

As part of the first phase in 2012, 11 pilot districts were identified to test the feasibility of the NHI.

The pilot districts are OR Tambo (Eastern Cape), Gert Sibande (Mpumalanga), Vhembe (Limpopo), Pixley ka Seme (Northern Cape), Eden (Western Cape), Dr K Kaunda (North West), Thabo Mofutsanyane (Free State) and Tshwane (Gauteng).

Due to the high population and disease burden, two were identified in KwaZulu-Natal - uMzinyathi and uMgungundlovu. However, the province added a third district, Amajuba, at its own cost.

Vuk’uzenzele asked South Africans about their thoughts on the NHI.

Sifiso Zulu

The NHI is a good idea because we all need health care as it is enshrined in our Constitution. I hope that government will manage the insurance correctly.


Romita Hanuman

The NHI will consolidate health care into one point ensuring that every South African receives proper health care. Government is doing a good thing. Every little step and progress that the country makes should be commended.


Louise van Niekerk

The NHI is a good idea, as it will help people who cannot afford proper health care. However, I think before the NHI can be implemented, government must ensure that there are enough properly trained and dedicated health care professionals who have a strict work ethic.


Bheki Mahlangu

For the man on the street the NHI will be a life changing initiative. Living in a country that consists mostly of people that have no access to basic health care is a problem. Big changes will take place with the introduction of the NHI.

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