OR Tambo health district is among the 10 pilot sites for the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa. The district has had a visit from the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and various preparations have been done for the launch of this project, such as the training of health professionals.
But in order for the project to be successful there are key issues that need to be addressed by the health department said a source at the local AIDS Council. “The infrastructure needs to be improved, medical devices should be made available, and an information management and various support systems have to be put in place,” he said. “We also need human resource planning, development and management before we will see the successful establishment of the NHI.
“So far there have been various challenges even in the preparation process, for instance there has been problems with the procurement officers, stolen drugs and political squabbles pre and post Mangaung.”
According to the source, there is a great lack of knowledge on the NHI by officials and communities and there needs to be full engagement of civil society and NHI campaigns for communities in indigenous languages.
Tandeka Vinjwa-Hlongwane is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Lusikisiki in the OR Tambo health district in the Eastern Cape