The National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme seems to be back on track. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced a 49% increase over three years for a conditional grant that goes to the national health department to fund the NHI, as well as an additional R4.2-billion for the scheme over the next three years that will be funded by gradually decreasing medical aid tax credits.
“After a long time of stalling, the NHI looks like it might become a reality again,” argues Sasha Stevenson, attorney for the social justice organisation Section27.
The NHI will pool funds to make healthcare services free at the point of delivery for everyone, regardless of their income. Estimations of the annual cost of the scheme vary, but some experts say it could be as high R400-billion. ….more