The National Department of Health (NDOH) has been busy since August 2022 exploring the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa, in preparation for the NHI Bill being approved by end 2023. The focus is on Primary Health Care (PHC). Each province has been asked to decide on a sub-district as a Proof-of-Concept (POC) for the Contracting Unit for PHC (CUP). The proposal from Johannesburg Health District (JHD) for Soweto (Sub-District D) as CUP POC was adopted by Gauteng Department of Health. A Johannesburg Joint Task Team has been working through elements of the NHI Bill and NDOH to develop a project plan. The process has been whittled down to essentially to two elements:

  1. Ensuring public clinics register and use the Health Patient Registry System (HPRS), as the number associated (HPRN)(linked to Department of Home Affairs) will be the beneficiary number for members of the population.
  2. Engaging with private providers.

At the moment we are very keen to strengthen Clinical Governance structures and the relationship with all private providers to address the priority of improved referrals and setting the tone for improved clinical governance under NHI. In order to take this process forward the Johannesburg Health District hosted a meeting with all private GPs and PHC Nurses Sunday 21st May in SK Matseke Hospital. It went very well with ±60 people attending, half online. See the presentation NHI 2023-05-21 Mtg Soweto Progress

Soweto will be divided into five Contracting Units for PHC (CUPs), around the major Community Health Centres (CHCs) of Soweto [Lillian Ngoyi, Mofolo, Zola, Iterileng and Chiawelo]. We are focusing on Chiawelo to begin. The NHI Bill states that the objectives of the CUP are to assist the NHI fund to identify needs, profile disease, improve access, identify public/private providers, manage contracts, monitor disbursements, ensure functional referral, facilitate integration of public/private, and resolve user complaints, amongst other things.

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