Private doctors want in on KZN’s NHI

2013-10-23 00:00

THE Department of Health says the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot projects in the province are receiving positive feedback from private healthcare practitioners.

Mfowethu Zungu, the deputy director-general of NHI, said since the project began 18 months ago, they had attracted the expertise of private general practitioners who wanted to be part of the project.

“One of the most positive aspects of the project has been the response of the private general practitioners. To date, we have 19 private practitioners that have joined the pilot project and we are now putting them through the induction process,” he said.

Zungu was addressing 700 delegates from various department offices, universities and other non-government organisations during the Provincial Consultative Health Forum held at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg yesterday. The NHI has three pilot projects currently running in Umgungundlovu, Amajuba and Umzinyathi.

He said it was informed by the dynamic that healthcare had become a commodity and that was not in the public good. “The idea in the NHI is that everyone should have equal access to healthcare regardless of their income.”

Zungu said they were making massive investments in infrastructure and human capital to guarantee the success of the project.

Bongi Gcaba from the infrastructure unit said in the Newcastle and the Madadeni areas, R100 million will be spent to develop infrastructure over the next few years as part of the NHI project.

KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu said over the past few years, the government had spent more than R7 billion on infrastructure to improve healthcare.

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