NHI tax deductions to start soon

2010-10-08 12:15

Tax deductions for the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme might start in 2012, even if rural areas only were going to benefit initially, a senior government official said today.

“Every single South African is going to be making a contribution,” said Olive Shisana, the chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee dealing with the implementation of the NHI.

The government needed at least R11 billion more to start implementing the NHI by 2012, she said.

But the government has said that the NHI would be phased in over 14 years, with roll-out starting in 2012 in underserved rural areas.

“We’re expecting to fill the gap in 2012, but if the economy grows very well, you never know. I’m sure it (when taxation will start) will be in the legislation,” she said.

Shisana was addressing the media at a press conference in Johannesburg, where the SA Medical Association was hosting a health conference.

Earlier, health department director-general Malebona Matsoso said the public would not yet see a dramatic difference in the health system in 2012.

“We don’t have a big-bang approach,” she said.

The NHI would start in 2012, with health teams visiting people in rural areas to assess their needs and providing transport to health facilities if necessary.

Also by 2012, the government planned to have all vacant posts in the public health system filled, Matsoso said.

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