PUBLIC health has been subjected to much scrutiny as crisis, involving short staff, lack of infrastructure and long waiting time for medical treatment for riddles the department. The National Health Insurance Fund, officially gazetted for public comment after cabinet approval on June 30, promises to be the solution to these ailments, says the Department of Health. Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health, Agiza Hlongwane, said the implementation of the NHIF was in the early stages and meant a massive reorganisation of an established health system.“NHI can be best described as a health financing system that is designed to pool funds to provide access to quality, affordable personal health services for all.” Hlongwane said KZN had already started implementing segments of the fund through their Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme, which enables at least 503 000 people to collect their chronic medication closer to home. He said there were 558 pick-up points across the province. Hlongwane said the department would also be rolling out the NHIF in other ways, including the contracting of general practitioners, infrastructure improvement, installation of information technology, family health teams, school health teams, deployment of district clinical specialists and the establishment Phila Mntwana (child health centres). Patients can register for the CCMDD programme at any DoH facility using their SA ID or passport.For more information on the CCMDD programme, contact 0800 070 070 or send a “please call me” to 073 161 7102.