oa South African Family Practice - National Health Insurance (NHI) : time for reflections! : editorial

Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



About four years ago, South Africa's Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, launched the Green Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) during a post-cabinet media briefing in Pretoria. The expectations were that the innovative system of healthcare funding would address: access to appropriate, efficient and quality health services; and provision of opportunity for all South Africans to affordable, quality healthcare regardless of the socio-economic status. He was optimistic in his briefing that the timeline for this national project would be 14 years, with the first five years focused on building and preparing the public health system for the changeover. In addition, he stressed that the cornerstone of the proposed NHI is universal coverage, with a financing system that will ensure provision of essential healthcare to all citizens of South Africa including legal long-term residents regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund. We are now in the fourth year of implementation and it is time to reflect on progress made so far.

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