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Report: South Africa’s National Health Insurance

Written by Health-e News

Issued by the South African Department of Health, this 18-page booklet broadly outlines the country’s recently introduced national health insurance (NHI).

This background document states that the NHI will take 14 years to fully introduce in South Africa. The first five years of the roll out will comprise a preparation phase in which the country will uplift the public health sector.

dept_of_health_logoAs of 2012, the document notes that the Department of Health had already begun improving health infrastructure at six major public hospitals and forming private-public partnerships. It had also drafted laws to ensure hospital managers are qualified and begun to set up a watchdog body, the Office of Health Standards Compliance.

The document also states that under the NHI, South Africans will never need to pay case at the hospital or at doctors’ rooms. While the government will continue to cater for those who are unemployed, those with formal jobs will be asked to make a monthly contribution to the NHI Fund. It adds that all neighborhoods will have family health teams to help provide preventative health services and offer home-base care.

The NHI Fund will enter into contracts with public and private hospitals, specialists, public clinics and private doctors’ practices to deliver health services free of charge to every South African citizen and legal resident. However, it notes that the NHI Fund will only provide finance for health facilities that meet required quality standards. The document also adds that the NHI will not pay for patients to see specialists unless they have been properly referred from a primary healthcare facility.

Download the document: National Health Insurance Booklet

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Health-e News

Health-e News is South Africa's dedicated health news service and home to OurHealth citizen journalism. Follow us on Twitter @HealtheNews

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