26 July 2019
The Presidential Health Compact has been signed.
Speaking at the signing of the compact in Tshwane, president Ramaphosa described it as the “culmination of a long journey we have travelled together since we convened the Presidential Health Summit last year to find solutions to the crisis facing our health system”.
He confirmed that government is working with various social partners to reform the healthcare system in South Africa.
Social partners include government, health and allied professionals, labour, business, communities, academia, statutory councils, traditional health practitioners and public health entities.
Challenges include poor resource management, underperformance in facilities, inadequate investment in people and skills, and inequitable quality of care between public and private health care.
According to the president, a common vision of a reformed healthcare system includes equitable access to quality healthcare for all South Africans, a people-centred public health system and clinic and hospitals serving as centres of excellence.
The stated goal of the health compact is One Country, One Health System.
The president declared that the signing parties had agreed to carry out their responsibilities in an ethical manner and ensure that self-interest does not undermine this, to work and participate in structured programme teams, support transparency in funding modalities and impact assessments and promote inclusivity in dissemination of information.
The president also confirmed that the Draft National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will soon be tabled in parliament.
Speaking in parliament in June 2019, the health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, declared that universal health coverage is essential and the NHI will be implemented.
Transformation of the health system was necessary to facilitate universal health coverage.
“Equally importantly, making progress towards universal health coverage requires transformation of the health system and reconfiguration of institutions for pooling of funds and purchasing of services to achieve social solidarity, efficiency, effectiveness and income and risk cross-subsidisation,” he said.
The minister also emphasized that the proposed legislation provided for strong governance mechanisms and enhanced accountability for the use of allocated funds.
Meanwhile, the health department has published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 42598.
It will be tabled in parliament soon.