South Africa: NHI Is a Journey, Not a Destination

President Cyril Ramaphosa receives PPEs (file photo).
analysis

'NHI is the best gift a country can give its people. It's good for society, it's good for the economy, it's good for people.'

One might imagine that these words were spoken by Dr Zwelhi Mkhize, South Africa's minister of Health and a passionate defender of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

But they were not spoken by Mkhize or anyone else in the ANC for that matter. They were uttered by Dr Mark Britnell from KPMG, who has no "skin in the game" so to speak -- unlike most South Africans who have strong views on the subject, usually depending on class and by extension, race.

Dr Mark Britnell (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Britnell was discussing NHI at Daily Maverick's annual think-fest, The Gathering, with fellow panellists Dr Nicholas Crisp, who runs the NHI office, and Steven Nathan, CEO of investment firm 10X. The discussion was facilitated by Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood.

As head of KPMG's global healthcare practice, Britnell has worked in 80 countries, helping governments and public and private sector organisations with their health operations, strategy and policy. Prior to that, he was director-general of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

"If you look at...

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