The Health Department has allocated R1.5 billion for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) financing system in its 2023/24 budget and annual performance plan.
The department presented the information to Parliament’s Health Committee.
It is envisaged that the NHI would be implemented by 2030.
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says South Africa is determined to see the NHI fully implemented:
Four years in the making, the National Health Insurance plan is always a point of contention in the committee.
The Health Department says it wants universal healthcare for all in the country, as explained by Deputy Director General, Nicholas Crisp.
“We don’t have universal healthcare for as long as you have to drive past five or six hospitals because it is private hospitals and you incur regular financial strain to get healthcare even if you have a medical aid.”
Members of the committee, like Lindy Wilson argues that the department should first pay attention to providing quality healthcare.
“Infrastructure is failing, nothing is maintained, hospitals are heavily understaffed. Quality healthcare should be there and in fact it’s not there. The NHI will make no difference at all.”
But ANC MP Annah Gela says the bill is necessary because all South Africans need equal healthcare.
“It means everyone gets healthcare regardless of money. It means no one gets left by ambulance because no money for that ambulance that is aim of this bill.”
Committee Chairperson, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, says it is good progress that a date has been provided for the implementation of the NHI.
He added that the committee is in the final stages of completing the NHI bill.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com