President Cyril Ramaphosa has warmly acknowledged the Universal Health Care Award given to the President by the New York-based non-governmental organisation, The Access Challenge, in recognition of his leadership in moving the country towards universal health coverage for all South Africans.
Led by former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Access Challenge works with national leaders to advocate for equal access to health care and education for the world's most under-served populations.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize received the award on behalf of President Ramaphosa on Monday, 23 September 2019 in New York, where the Minister was part of the South African delegation to the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The recognition of South Africa's plan to achieve universal health coverage enabled by National Health Insurance (NHI) coincided with the adoption by the United Nations of the UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage, or UHC, which commits countries to advance towards full coverage for their citizens in four major areas around primary care.
President Ramaphosa says the recognition by The Access Challenge will serve as further motivation for government to continue working with all sectors of society to achieve universal health coverage in line with the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP).
The President says: "This award is both a personal and collective honour shared by the social partners in South Africa who are united in our effort to build a healthy nation in which all citizens have access to health care and services regardless of their ability to pay for such services. This is a critical part of eradicating inequality in our society and building the South Africa we want."
Issued by: The Presidency