NHI 'needs proper funding'

2008-08-31 18:37

Johannesburg - The government must begin to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) system as the only affordable option for a free health care system, Cosatu said on Sunday.

General Secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi who was addressing delegates at the South African Medical Association Conference said proper funding for NHI could be used for people to gain health care services irrespective of a financial status.

"To achieve a universal, comprehensive, free national health care system, founded on the primary health care approach, requires a well-funded and well resourced funded public health system", he said.

"Apartheid had a fundamental impact on people's health and the organisation of the health system in South Africa. That legacy, despite many achievements in our health care system, continues to this day" he said.

Vavi said health care could provide a free health care system for the masses but it was turned into a private sector and it created a market-driven system that avoided the sick.

" With 8, 5% of GDP spent on health in 2006 (about R135bn) SA has enough resources to provide health care to everyone, what is required is the redistribution of these resources, from the minority of the population to the majority", he said.