Date: 5th November 2009

On the 11th of September 2009, I published a notice establishing an NHI Ministerial Advisory Committee which would provide advice on the development of policy, legislation and the implementation of a National Health Insurance.

Today I am very pleased to announce the appointment of members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on National Health Insurance, in line with the National Health Act, 2004 and as stated in the Government Gazette of 11 September 2009. The Ministerial Advisory Committee will advise the Minister on aspects of the National Health Insurance Policy, to enrich the process on policy and legislation development and the implementation plan for the NHI system.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee will listen to the comments made by the public on the White Paper on National Health Insurance and will advise the Ministry on what to include in the final NHI implementation plan. The draft White Paper on the National Health Insurance will be released for public comment in due course.

The Advisory Committee is made up of individuals with a cross-section of skills and expertise relevant to the NHI policy. The names and short curriculum vitae of the appointed members are as follows:

1. Dr Olive Shisana, CEO of the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), who chaired the ANC Technical Task Team on National Health Insurance, has been appointed to also chair the Advisory Committee.   She previously chaired the Committee that produced on the plan on Universal Access to Primary Health Care, whose recommendations formed the basis for the introduction of universal access to primary health care in public health facilities in 1996.  

Shisana, who said that she will remain in her post at the HSRC, served as Director-General of Health in the first democratic government from 1994 onwards and later as Executive Director at the World Health Organization (WHO), responsible for Family and Community Health.

She obtained her Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in the USA.   She has published in the area of national health insurance and HIV/AIDS and is an accomplished researcher, scientist and public health leader.


2. Professor Ephraim Mokgokong, retired Chancellor for the Medical University of Southern Africa (Medunsa). He served as professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Medunsa and was vice-president of the National Interim Medical and Dental Council. Prof. Mokgokong, and is still practicing Obstetrics and Gynaecology on a part-time basis in Limpopo.

3. Professor Diane McIntyre, the founder of the Health Economics Unit at University of Cape Town, established in 1990, with a wealth of experience in health economics and health policy issues. She has published extensively in health economics, particularly in the field of health financing, and has extensive experience in research and technical support on matters relating to health financing, expenditure analysis and national health accounts, alternative healthcare financing mechanisms, resource allocation, decentralisation and health equity issues.

4. Ms Shirley Mabusela is a social worker by training with extensive experience in the field of children’€™s rights. She is presently part of the team involved in the process towards the building of a highly specialised unit Nelson Mandela Children’€™s Hospital.

5. Mr Mark Claassen is an actuary and the Director of the Actuarial and Insurance Solutions (AIMS) practice of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) in South Africa. He has 18 years experience in financial services in South Africa, mainly in life assurance, derivatives and quantitative risk management and health.


6. Ms Sheila Barsel has 39 years experience in the area of policy development and implementation, strategic and operational management, monitoring and evaluation, people and human resource management and administration in both the private and public sectors. She was previously the deputy director in the Western Cape Department of Health, responsible for skills development.

7. Mr Mark Heywood is the executive director of the AIDS Law Project (ALP) since 1994; deputy chair of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC); a member of the Secretariat and an Executive member of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC); and a board member of the Amandla AIDS Advisory Trust.

8. Professor William Pick is professor emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he was the head of the School of Public Health, and retired interim president of the Medical Research Council. He chairs the Council for Medical Schemes, served on the Health Professions Council and has held honorary professorships at the Universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape.   Prof. Pick is a founding member of the Health Economics Unit at the University of Cape Town.

9. Mr Solly Suleman, a pharmacist who graduated from the University of Durban Westville, was a lecturer of Pharmacy at the University of Durban Westville from 1978 to 1983. He is currently the director of the Sparkport Pharmacy Group and a member of the Pharmaceutical Stakeholders Forum and a member of several community organisations.


10. Ms Mosidi Maboye has extensive experience in nursing and in labour-related matters. She is assistant theatre complex manager at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and sits on the board of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and is the deputy general-secretary of the South African Democratic Nurses Union (SADNU).  

11. Mr Kuben Pillay has 28 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, where he worked in areas such as research and development, production, and business operations. He is currently an executive of Adcock Ingram, responsible for public sector business and the anti-retroviral business.


12. Mr Roly Buys has extensive experience in the medical schemes industry and the private hospital sector. He joined the private hospital group MediClinic in 1998, where he is director for Funder Relations and Contracting.


13. Dr Norman Mabasa chairs the National Convention on Dispensing (NCD). He is chairperson of the board and a member of the executive committee of the South African Medical Association (SAMA). He sits on the board of the South African Medical & Dental Practitioners (SAMDP), and has vast experience as a general practitioner in private practice.


14. Dr Debbie Pearmain is the legal advisor to the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF). She was previously employed as head of the legal unit at the National Department of Health and has experience drafting public health legislation.

15. Dr Humphrey Zokufa is a pharmacist and the CEO of BHF. He is the previous Registrar of the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and chief director for the Pharmaceutical Policy & Planning in the National Department of Health.  

16. Dr Charles Hongoro is a health economist and research director at the Human Sciences Research Council, and professor extraordinaire research at Tshwane University of Technology in the Department of Environmental Health. He has over 19 years of experience working in public health policy and systems research.

17. Ms Baby Twaya is the deputy CEO for Strategy and Content Management at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).   She served as an intern psychologist at the Counselling and Careers Unit at Wits University in 1996.   In January 2008, Ms Twaya was appointed by President Thabo Mbeki to the Board of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), for a three-year term.

18. Mr Sobantu Ndlangalavu is employed by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and is responsible for tax management and administration, and for tax collection.


19. Major General Mokgethi Radebe is a general practitioner by profession, and has vast experience in the areas of management of the military health services and of general public sector management through the Department of Defence.

20. Dr Mark Blecher, Director of Social Services in National Treasury, Cape Town has gained experience in public sector management, health finance planning and management and general public sector management through employment at provincial and national government levels.

21. Dr Yogan Pillay is the deputy director-general in the National Department of Health, responsible for key healthcare programmes, including HIV/AIDS,   TB, and maternal and child health. He has extensive experience in strategic planning.


22. Dr Keith Shongwe is a deputy director’€“general in the Department of Communications, ICT International Affairs & Trade.   His area of focus is in the field of information technology and services. He completed his tertiary education at the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal.


International experts on the Committee are the following:  


23. Dr Joseph Kutzin is affiliated to the WHO and the Department of Economics Boston University Boston, Massachusetts in the USA. He is the regional advisor for Health System Financing in the European Region of the WHO and heads up the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening (Hospital & Health Care) which is part of the WHO European Regional Office.  

Dr Kutzin provided technical support to several countries including Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Spain and believes that it possible for developing countries to progressively implement a modern and transparent health-financing system whose organisation is coherent with the crucial objectives of providing financial protection to citizens and to align incentives to produce services efficiently. He has published extensively on the topic.

24. Dr William Savedoff is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development and a Senior Partner at Social Insights in Maine, Portland in the USA. He has been working for more than 20 years on economic and social development issues, focusing on finding ways to improve the quality of social services in developing countries, with particular attention to incentives, institutions, and political-economy.

Dr Savedoff has worked for clients including the National Institutes of Health, Transparency International, and the World Bank. He also serves on the editorial board of the internationally renowned health economics journal, Health Policy & Planning.

25. Professor Prabhat Jha is research chair of Health and Development in Canada and Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He is the founding director of the Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR), Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital; director of the Lombard Insurance Global Poverty Action Laboratory; and professor extraordinaire at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland. Professor Jha has been a key figure in epidemiology and economics of global health for the last decade.

Previously, Professor Jha was a Senior Scientist at the WHO in Geneva, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and a research scholar at the University of Toronto and McMaster University in Canada.


For more information please contact Fidel Hadebe on 012 312-0663 or 079 517-3333


Issued by the Ministry of Health    


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