Despite government’s intention to introduce a single health system with compulsory contributions from all working South Africans, it may be impossible to outlaw private healthcare. This is according to Wits University’s Professor Alex van den Heever, who has been researching health reform for over 20 years. “The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is obscure about whether people can buy cover outside of the national scheme, and refers to private cover that is complementary,” said Van den Heever. “But you cannot just remove a right. The NHI is insurance, not a service. Canada tried to prohibit people from having private healthcare and they lost a court challenge. Prohibition serves no public purpose or social benefit.” …..more