Across the provinces, the hearings reveal that people do in fact know what they want from a functional health system that serves their needs. But we have to ask, have people been adequately educated about the bill?
There’s a dire shortage of medical specialists, yet provinces have cut budgets for their training. Specialists need to be involved in planning the NHI roll-out to prevent such things from happening, writes South African Society of Anaesthesiologists CEO Natalie Zimmelman.
The public has until 31 May* to comment on the NHI White Paper, but the response has been muted. Yet the NHI provides an opportunity to improve quality and address the lack of health workers, writes Section27’s Sasha Stevenson.
The 97-page paper outlines the country’s path to universal health coverage over 14 years and proposes dramatic changes in the role of private medical aids and the National Health Laboratory Services among others.
We’ve finally been given government’s blue-print for how it plans to marry the private and public health sectors – the NHI White Paper. But many areas are fuzzy, particularly how it will persuade private doctors to work in a system that is likely to mean more work and less pay.
Government’s White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) proposes a single, compulsory medical scheme for all, with private medical schemes being reduced to offering “complementary services”.
For the next 15 years, the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals will guide what donors fund and what countries push – and the world may just take a page from Africa’s playbook as it pursue universal health coverage.