NHI White Paper to be policy document

THE National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper will be published as a policy document in the government gazette on Friday, the Department of Health announced. Approved by Cabinet recently, the White paper lays the foundation for moving South Africa towards universal health coverage through the implementation of the NHI.

The NHI seeks to transform the financing of the health system in pursuit of the goal of universal health coverage.

Health Minister Dr Aron Motsoaledi, said that priority will be given to vulnerable groups including, amongst others, the elderly, school children, unemployed people, pregnant women, as well as unemployed people.

“All pregnant women would be able to go for antenatal care, regardless of their socio-economic status,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

He also noted that a number of existing legislation will need to be changed.

“To enable the introduction of NHI, a number of existing legislation will need to be changed. These include the National Health Act, Mental Health Care Act, Health Professions Act, Traditional Health Practitioners Act, Allied Health Professions, Medical Schemes Act, the Nursing Act,” the minister said.

The department said it has identified 1068 facilities as being ready for NHI.

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