Budget: First steps for national health insurance

This year’s budget takes the first steps in establishing the national health insurance (NHI) scheme, according to the National Treasury.

“Government is intensifying investment in health services as part of the ten-point plan to restructure public health, which includes NHI,” it said in its Budget Review, tabled in Parliament today.

A health infrastructure grant had been established, new facilities were being built and existing ones upgraded.

In addition, a “family health approach” to primary health care was being launched, at a cost of R1.2 billion over the next three years.

It said the “family health” approach drew on a successful programme in Brazil.

Teams comprising nurses, doctors and community health workers would look after families in “revitalised public health facilities”, with an emphasis on prevention rather than cure.

The quality of care in hospitals was being improved – thanks to an amount of R2.7 billion.

A total of R117 million had been allocated to set up an office of standards compliance, an independent authority that would include an inspectorate and an ombudsman.

“These and other improvements to the public health system will require higher revenues to ensure adequate financing over the long term,” the Review said.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his Budget Speech that these interventions would be “laying the foundations for NHI”.

The review said the NHI would also rely on efficient delivery structures for health services, and a sound payment approach for health providers.

“Joint work of the National Treasury and the department of health is in progress on the fiscal and financial arrangements for these reforms.”

The national department of health said in its spending estimates that this year a detailed plan for implementing NHI would be produced, a public discussion paper released, and draft legislation compiled.

The Review said spending on the health sector was expected to grow from the current R102.5 billion to R113 billion in 201112, and R127 billion in 2013/14, at an average yearly growth rate of 7.5%.

The Budget allocated an additional R1.4 billion to improve maternal and child health services through a range of interventions that included training 400 nurses and midwives, improved school health services, and better supervision of obstetric and paediatric services in district hospitals.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 4987 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 5905 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.49
(+0.11)
ZAR/GBP
21.40
(-0.07)
ZAR/EUR
19.45
(-0.06)
ZAR/AUD
11.61
(+0.31)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.19)
Gold
1906.15
(+0.18)
Silver
24.55
(+4.99)
Platinum
856.99
(+0.35)
Brent Crude
42.85
(-0.67)
Palladium
2337.48
(+0.77)
All Share
55010.22
(-0.27)
Top 40
50603.88
(-0.27)
Financial 15
9931.14
(-0.47)
Industrial 25
75430.90
(+0.89)
Resource 10
53287.85
(-1.56)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo