NHI will drive costs down - Shisana

Chris Bateman


The National Health Insurance Plan, (NHI), due for legislation in June next year, will be phased in one facility at a time over the next five years, costing higher income earners more (via a payroll tax) but in no way limiting their choice of provider.
That was the assurance given by the chair of the NHI Ministerial Advisory Committee, Dr Olive Shisana, who said the incremental accreditation of healthcare facilities was to ensure the delivery of quality health care based on agreed standards.
“If this quality improvement plan was done by district or province, I’d be worried, but we’re building capacity, facility by facility. When each facility (public or private) is ready and meets standards of accreditation, it gets declared NHI-ready and changes its modus operandi,’ she explained.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee of 24 experts drawn from the entire healthcare spectrum, is required to deliver draft proposals on NHI legislation to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi by March next year. Public input will happen as soon as cabinet approves the policy proposals, probably this November so that the ensuing and legally required three month consultation process can be completed in time for Motsoaledi’s review. That would leave just enough time for legal crafting for presentation to parliament by June.
Shisana was responding to claims that the ANC government was ‘overcompensating for apartheid health inequities in the form of a grand gesture,’ that was doomed to failure because of the woeful current state of public healthcare.

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Chris Bateman, HMPG

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South African Medical Journal 2009;99(12):846-850.

Article History

Date submitted: 2009-11-06
Date published: 2009-12-07

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