Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi today said the government was taking a significant step towards universal health coverage that will bring quality healthcare to all South Africans.
Motsoaledi said the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill will soon be ready for submission to parliament.
“After extensive consultation, the NHI bill will soon be ready for submission to parliament. The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities,” the minister said.
Motsoaledi was speaking on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town during the launch of the report on the presidential health summit 2018.
The Summit took place in Ekurhuleni in October last year under the leadership of Deputy President David Mabuza, who officiated in Ramaphosa’s absence. The theme for the Summit was: “Strengthening the South African health system towards an integrated and unified health system”.
The theme reflects the commitment in the national development plan to a sustainable quality health system that provides equal access and care to all South Africans.
Ramaphosa indicated in the State of the Nation Address that in 2019 the country will take a significant step towards universal health coverage that will bring quality healthcare to all South Africans.
The NHI delivery model will be based on the primary healthcare approach, which emphasises the importance of providing preventative, promotive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services.
“By applying the principle of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation, we aim to reduce inequality in access to healthcare. Realising the magnitude of the challenges in healthcare, we have established an NHI and quality improvement ‘war room’ in the Presidency.
“This ‘war room’ brings together various key departments to address the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation of the NHI. We are guided by the insight that improving the health system and introducing NHI are two sides of the same coin and are mutually reinforcing,” Motsoaledi said.
He added that repairing South Africa’s national health system was an endeavour that required the input, involvement and innovation of all role players who understand that good health makes for a good life and a good economy.
– African News Agency (ANA)