NHI Bill must prioritise people, not private interest
At the centre of providing universal health care are people and ensuring equitable health services, but can the health minister prevent the private sector from hijacking National Health Insurance? HEALTH-E’s Sibongile Nkosi reports.
There are no arguments that South Africa’s health system needs urgent reforms to achieve universal healthcare. However, the bigger and more critical question is how the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will deliver universal and quality health services for the 80% of people in South Africa who rely on government clinics and hospitals in the current ailing health system.
A week ago, the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, introduced the much-contested bill in Parliament and said South Africa was “one step closer” to universal healthcare for all. According to the bill, the National Health Insurance Fund will be established as an “autonomous public entity” to “pool the allocated resources in order to procure healthcare services, medicines, and health-related products from healthcare service providers and suppliers that are certified and accredited”.