Tshwane residents know little about NHI

Tshwane residents know little about NHIFile Photo.

More than a year after the National Health Insurance pilot was launched in South Africa, Tshwane District communities still have no or little knowledge of what it means. This is despite the fact that Tshwane is one of the pilot districts for the NHI.

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The National Health Insurance (NHI) is a financing system that will make sure that all citizens of South Africa (and legal long-term residents) are provided with essential healthcare, regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund.

OurHealth has discovered that people in Soshanguve near Pretoria have little or no information about it.

Paulina Johnson, 34, of Block K in Soshanguve said: “National what? I have no idea about it although I know that health is about medicines and curing diseases. I have engaged in HIV/Aids awareness but that is a new word into my ears.”

Oupa Hlahlane, a student at Tshwane University of Technology, said: “One thing I know is that our Minister [of Health] is working very hard towards healthcare in our country but I can’t really tell you what NHI is. I have no clue at all.”

Aus Bongle from Block XX said: “I think NHI is going to demand more from the people who are working. It’s not fair to pay for health services while someone is not sick and by force. With high corruption cases in South Africa, I also think the fraudsters will drain the system down.”

Fredah Mashao, who works for Tshwane North Outreach Project, said: “National Health Insurance, what is that?”

Binky Morake of LVV said: “I heard a little about it but I really do not know how it will work. I think it’s a good idea to improve health care for all.”

But a launch of the NHI is planned for the district in the next few months, and health officials hope this will improve people’s knowledge.

Maggie Bokaba of the KT Motubatse Clinic said: “We are still working on little logistics and we’ll then confirm the date for the launch. The Ministry of Health will be here and I have no doubt that people will be made aware of the whole process of NHI.”