BUDGET: R4,2-billion has been allocated the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to be spent over the three years – but exactly how the NHI will work remains vague. The National Health Insurance aims to make a package of essential healthcare free to all citizens and legal residents of South Africa through compulsory employee contributions to a national NHI Fund – a noble cause with a hefty price tag.

But the health department’s attempt to introduce the scheme has floundered over the past five years, – partly dogged by huge management weaknesses in the public health sector. According to yesterday’s Budget Review, the NHI will get R4,2-billion made up of allocations of R700 million, R1.4 billion and R2.1 billion over the next three years. This money will come from “an amendment to the medical tax credit”. ….more