National Health Insurance – Health Minister dismissive of criticism

“We are one nation building one health care system. Let’s work together. There is no us and them.” These were the words in a tweet of Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa’s Health Minister. Dr Mkhize attended the annual Hospital Association of South Africa conference in Cape Town last week. He addressed leaders of private hospital groups and medical aids and spoke extensively about National Health Insurance plans.

According to various media reports he accused many people of spreading “false information” about the Bill. Mkhize denied the Bill meant the state would nationalise health. He said the perception that the NHI would result in the nationalisation of private health care facilities was a “weird idea”.

Mkhize added that the NHI could allow the government-run NHI fund to buy private health care. “What will be possible is entering into agreements for private facilities to render specific services under NHI in addition to the public facilities”.

“We all have a role to play in fixing our health system, our entire system. We have a common interest to collaborate in pursuit of health coverage”, he shared.

Mkhize further denied reports about disagreements with the national Treasury over funding the NHI, and that there is less money available for NHI, as calculated by the Treasury, than the health department needs.

Click here to read the media report as published on the TimesLive website.

Click here to read more about National Treasury’s report.

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