NHI will care for all – health minister
HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the state of the health system is unacceptable and infringed on the right to healthcare for all, saying the National Health Insurance (NHI) will help solve that.
Addressing the media in Pretoria yesterday where he released the NHI white paper, Motsoaledi said an overhaul of the health system was needed to ensure universal access to healthcare for all regardless of their economic status.
The white paper will be gazetted today.
Answering critics of the NHI, Motsoaledi said there was no political, social and economic reason to justify a health system that excludes the less privileged, saying people must have the same health benefits.
“In the present platform of health, both public and private, it will be very difficult or undesirable rather to try to implement NHI.
“NHI will need a massive reorganisation of the healthcare system both public, and private.
“We need to massively reorganise which means we are going to touch many areas, we are going to touch many people, we are going to upset some, others will be happy, others may be upset if they choose to be so but the system requires massive reorganisation.”
The manner in which the hospitals are governed, the relationship between health and provinces, who gets what and authority will have to change drastically for the implementation of the NHI, he said.
Motsoaledi said various legislation, including the National Health Act, Mental Health Act among others, will need to be amended to accommodate the NHI.
Motsoaledi compared subsidies given to medical schemes as the “prodigal son” who is given his share of the wealth and comes back to demand more.
He said among Brics countries South Africa was producing the worst health outcomes despite the high spend of its GDP on health, something he said needs to change.
SA spends 8.5% of its GDP on health, well above other Brics countries.
“People are going to say it’s obvious because public hospitals are not working very well, that is not the central reason, unlike those countries 4.4% of that GDP goes to only 16% of the population and the remaining 4.1% goes to 84% of the population.
“No country in the world is spending so much money on so few people.”
OVERHAUL IS DUE: Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.