South Africans Should Mobilise to Support the NHI

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Geoff Setswe, a public health expert with global health impact organisation, The Aurum Institute, tells us that the NHI is no different to any other structural change implemented in the health system. However, implementing it in South Africa will be a challenge.

When the concept of National Health Insurance (NHI), was introduced in South Africa for all races, it was a fight for quality of care and equality of access to healthcare for all citizens.

However, the fight to implement the NHI has taken a different turn. The opposition to the implementation of the bill has become controversial and has come in full force, from some civil society organisations, private and public healthcare providers and opposition parties. For something that has been part of our political narrative since the 1940s, the backlash is palpable.

The NHI has been packaged poorly for ordinary citizens to have a sense of ownership. There is no public champion to explain, or reassure citizens that it is not a bad thing and if implemented correctly, NHI will benefit all South Africans. The NHI is described as a financial system designed to pool funds to actively provide access to healthcare services to all citizens. The choice...

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