Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden medium-term budget policy statement last week laid bare just how little progress the government is making on National Health Insurance (NHI).

The fact that the Treasury shaved more than half a billion rand off the R2.3bn NHI grant it allocated to the health department in the February budget signals how little faith it has in the department’s capacity to spend the money. With good reason. The health department has been going nowhere slowly for years: it is halfway through the ANC’s self-imposed deadline of implementing universal healthcare by 2025 and has precious little to show for it. We still don’t know what benefits NHI will provide, what it will cost or how it will be financed…..more