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Massive shake-up of health laws ahead of NHI

Health Minister tells MPs to ready themselves to dismantle health laws to make way for a universal health system – the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

Parliament will need to amend at least 12 Acts to facilitate the introduction of National Health Insurance (NHI), according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

“You might have to dismantle some of the relationships between spheres of government and also rattle the corporate world in health,” Motsoaledi told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) yesterday (19 June).

Tomorrow, the Minister is to due to release to the public two Bills – the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and the NHI Bill – that begin the process of establishing a single universal health system for all South Africans.

“Under NHI, the rich will subsidise the poor. The young will subsidise the old. The healthy will subsidise the sick. The urban will subsidise the rural,” said Motsoaledi in his Budget speech in the NCOP.

Massive re-organisation

“[This] will necessitate a massive re-organisation of the whole healthcare system, both public and private, and completely change the relationship between our spheres of government, but also change the relationship between the rich and the poor.”

He told Members of Parliament that they would need to change “most of the laws that you have painstakingly cobbled together since the advent of democracy… We have already identified 12 Acts that will have to be amended by this House to accommodate NHI.”

He said that MPs would need to pay special attention to “the four issues that have emerged as destabilisers of the health care system”, namely:

  • Human Resources: Who has the power to hire who, where, and how many
  • Financial Management: No proper financial management, no services
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management
  • Maintenance of Infrastructure and equipment.

“All the major disasters in health that occurred in our country are about these four and the way they are governed and controlled,” said Motsoaledi. “Life Esidimeni, oncology in KwaZulu-Natal, Mediosa and Buthelezi ambulances and the issue of shortage of staff stem from these four.” – Health-e News.

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