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NHI system to be cast under spotlight

07 February 2014, 15:29

Government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system is expected to undergo great interrogation during an engagement session with the Walter Sisulu University community at the Mthatha Health Resource Centre on Monday 10 February.

Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is set to address administrators, academics, practitioners and scholars of the medical fraternity about the system. The NHI funding mechanism is aimed at providing quality health services for all South Africans, regardless of their financial status.

The session will also afford Motsoaledi an opportunity to discuss the rolling out of the NHI pilot project launched two years ago and scheduled for the O.R Tambo district.

The pilot project is aimed at assessing the ability of these districts to assume greater responsibility with a ‘purchaser-provider split’; assessing the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and affordability of engaging the private sector; and the assessing of introducing a fully-fledged district health authority and implications thereof.

Key interventions and activities have already been undertaken as part of the preparatory work for theimplementation of the pilot projects. These include management reforms and the re-designation of health facilities; the complete transformation of healthcare service provision and delivery of a comprehensive package of care, the Municipal Ward-based Primary Health Care agents and the School Health Programme. These activities are funded by the Establishment Conditional grant as earmarked by the department.

Critical issues on how the NHI service benefits will be designed, how the population will be covered and how the services will be delivered will also form part of the discussions.

Government says the focus of the interventions is to reduce the burden of disease, particularly those borne by women and children and to improve overall health system performance.

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