In-Depth: Tracking the National Health Insurance

In-Depth: Tracking the National Health InsuranceOral health screenings pick up more than just cavities - they can also pick up the signs of underlying conditions (File photo)

More than three years after Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi first announced National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot districts, Health-e News tracks what the NHI has meant on the ground and in people’s lives.

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In the North West, Community Healthcare Worker Fikile Mokabane tests a pensioner's blood sugar in the NHI pilot site.
In the North West, Community Healthcare Worker Fikile Mokabane tests a pensioner’s blood sugar in the NHI pilot site.

More than thee years ago, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced 10 districts across the country that would pioneer what may be the biggest revolution in health since the introduction of antiretrovirals: The National Health Insurance (NHI).

One common medical aid for all South Africans, as envisaged by government’s proposed NHI, could remedy huge inequalities in access to health care in the country.

Together, initial NHI pilot districts comprise 20 percent of the population and have already begun rolling out primary health care innovations including district clinical specialist and ward-based outreach teams, more convenient chronic medication dispensing schemes and given school health a booster shot.

As the White Paper awaits Cabinet approval, according to the Department of Health, Health-e News charts the NHI’s first three years in our latest In-Depth Report.

 

Aaron MotsoalediNHI far from reality but progress made in improving public health

One common medical aid for all South Africans, as envisaged by government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, is many years away, but many of the country’s 10 pilot sites are making progress.

Read the full report

 

North West Community Health WorkerGauteng, North West lead country in new community health team

With almost 100 community health teams scouring the district’s streets, Tshwane and North West’s Dr Kenneth Kaunda districts are leading South Africa in pioneering community health as part National Health Insurance (NHI).

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A study conducted among about 360 women following delivery at an East Rand hospital found high rates of traditional medicine use

Doing things differently in KZN

There’s a quiet revolution in one of the poorest districts in the land, where health workers have moved out of health facilities into communities to prevent rather than cure health problems

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Less than 200 GPs have been contracted for the NHI pilot far from the 900 target by the DOH

Poor conditions scare GPs away from public sector

Poor conditions in some National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot districts are causing general practitioners to think twice about working in public health

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Newly revived school health programmes  have already screened over 280 000 learners for eye, ear, dental and nutritional problems.

School health teams take screenings to rural children

For the country’s rural children, the revitalisation of school health services could be a lifeline – if doctors and specialists answer the call.

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New system lets patients pick up medicine from shops

Patients in rural KwaZulu-Natal are able to pick up their medicine from a wide range of local pick-up points, in a national experiment aimed at cutting the long queues at hospital pharmacies.

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