South Africa: Slipshod NHI Bill Is Fatally Flawed


The Helen Suzman Foundation makes a case for the National Health Insurance Bill to be withdrawn.

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) supports the underlying concept of universal health coverage. However, in its submission to the Portfolio Committee on Health on the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI and the bill), we make it clear that the bill cannot be considered to be the product of a rational process, as a result of grossly inadequate research, planning and analysis, concerning the operational, administrative and financial aspects of the NHI. In addition, the lack of detail does not enable the current public consultation process to be legally valid, as it is impossible to comment on far-reaching draft legislation on the basis of inadequate information.

It is commonly accepted that the government has been unable to manage the public health sector in an acceptable manner. This is shown by the 2016/17 Annual Inspection Report by the Office of Health Standards Compliance, which found that out of 851 public sector health establishments that were inspected, 62% were non-compliant with norms and standards for healthcare quality. At the same time, the government has failed to regulate the private health sector in an adequate manner, as was...

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