n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - The cost implications of the National Health Insurance (NHI) and traditional healing and medicine in South Africa

Volume 18 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1683-0296


The ANC led South African government is laudably attempting to address the inequities in healthcare for the majority of South Africans through the introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI). However, challenges such as poor infrastructure, lack of medication, staff shortages, corruption and mismanagement, have been identified as hampering this process. The implementation of the NHI comes at high cost and the role of traditional healing and medicine (THM) in the NHI needs to be addressed. This article provides an overview of the current two tiers of South Africa western biomedical models of healthcare systems (both public and private) and it’s costs. It also provides an overview of the role, use and costs of THM in South Africa and the financial implications if this is included in the NHI. It calls for recognition of THM as a private third tier, culturally relevant health service in South Africa but recommends that challenges identified with THM need to be addressed.

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