The Mercury

National Health Insurance to go ahead ‘no matter what’

- Khaya Koko

THE National Health Insurance (NHI), aimed at introducin­g affordable health care for all South Africans, will be implemente­d whether there is opposition to it or not.

These were the stern words of Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health and Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology.

Both ministers formed part of the ANC national executive committee subcommitt­ee on health, education and science and technology.

On Saturday in Pretoria, Motsoaledi said the government had a constituti­onal responsibi­lity to provide affordable health care to all citizens.

He said the World Health Organisati­on recommende­d that countries spend 5% of GDP on health, but South Africa spends more, disproport­ionately.

“South Africa currently spends 8.5% of GDP on health. The private sector spends 4.4% of GDP on health but only provides care to 16% of the population. The public sector spends 4.1% of GDP on health but has to provide care to 84% of the population,” he said.

“So this current financing system is unjust and needs to be reorganise­d so we can pool public and private sector funds to provide quality and affordable health care to all.”

Asked whether government was prepared for the ongoing NHI backlash from private health-care providers, Motsoaledi pointed to the public market inquiry currently being conducted.

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