Universal health care may become a reality as Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi gears up to present two bills to the public on Thursday.
The Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and the National Health Insurance Bill have the purpose of ushering in a set of health-financing reforms that aim to provide free healthcare to all South Africans.
However, the bills will require amendments to 12 pieces of legislation, News24's sister publication Health24 reported.
Motsoaledi told Members of Parliament on Tuesday 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".
"[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," Motsoaledi said.
He emphasised that the rich will subsidise the poor, the young will subsidise the old and the healthy will subsidise the sick.
"You might have to dismantle some of the relationships between spheres of government and also rattle the corporate world in health," Motsoaledi said.
He advised Members of Parliament to monitor four factors that have destabilised the health care system. These include human resources, financial management, procurement and supply chain management and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.
A universal health care system has been on the cards well before Motsoaledi's tenure as health minister, which began in 2009.