File image: Independent MediaJohannesburg – Falling state revenue collections and warnings from the finance minister that South Africa has a very constrained package and tough choices have to be made might drive a rift between National Health Insurance (NHI) hard liners and those seeking other funding options to improve health services for more South Africans.

The keynote speaker of this year’s SA Medical Association conference, which opened at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday, Olive Shisana, blamed the lack of political will for the lack of progress in implementing the proposed NHI.

“The political will is just not there. Nine years after the ANC Polokwane resolution to implement NHI, we still do not have the legislation to introduce NHI,” she said.

She was adamant that there was enough money in the fiscus to fund NHI, as the 8.5 percent of gross domestic product that South Africa currently spent in both the private and public sectors was more than the amount spent by some countries with universal health coverage. …more