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National Health Insurance Bill on Track

February 14, 2019

The Presidency

The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will soon be ready for tabling in parliament.

The health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, confirmed this during an address delivered on behalf of president Ramaphosa at the launch of the report on the Presidential Health Summit in Cape Town.

The health summit took place in Ekurhuleni on 19 and 20 October 2018 focused on identifying initiatives to strengthen the South African health system towards an integrated and unified health system.

The minister added that the NHI will “enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality accredited health facilities”.

“The NHI delivery model will be based on the primary health care approach, which emphasises the importance of providing preventative, promotive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services.”

The minister announced that an NHI and quality improvement ‘war room’ has been set up to tackle challenges in health care.

“This ‘war room’ brings together various key departments to address the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation of the NHI.”

Government holds the view that improving the health system and introducing NHI are two sides of the same coin.

According to the minister, the summit expressed unanimous support for NHI and for the “principles of universal quality health coverage, social solidarity and equity in health access”.

The summit also called for a “centralised, national procurement system, which will achieve economies of scale and assist in addressing corruption”.

National treasury has also been instructed to develop a sustainable financing model.

The minister also confirmed that a Presidential Health Summit Compact based on the outcomes is currently being developed.

The Compact will commit sectors such as government, civil society, labour, health services users, business, academia and health professionals to work together to implement identified solutions.

“Representatives will consult their key constituencies on the interventions to be implemented and craft a plan that includes clear objectives, methods, timelines, indicators and financial resources.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, the presidency indicated that president Ramaphosa has welcomed the outcomes of the summit describing them as catalysts towards creating a healthier nation.