The Black Sash, in partnership with HEU (Health Economics Unit-UCT) and the news service Health-e, have held consultative workshops in all nine provinces over the past 18 months in order to give those who use public healthcare facilities, the opportunity to contribute towards the government’s health reform proposals.
What is the NHI?
The planned NHI is the introduction of a universal healthcare system where everyone in South Africa – rich or poor, employed or unemployed, old or young, sick or healthy - is covered by a national healthcare insurance (NHI).
The ANC passed at resolution at its last major meeting in Polokwane in 2007 to provide universal and compulsory healthcare for all South Africans. Details of how much the scheme will cost and how it will be funded are still unclear but the government has said that the NHI will kick off in 2012 and be implemented over a period of 14 years. A discussion document outlining how the scheme will operate is due to be released for public comment within the next month (August).
NHI and Health Consultations
The Black Sash invited a broad cross-section of participants from CBO’s (community-based organisations); NGO's (non-governmental organisations) and local health-affiliated community organisations, and asked them to share their experiences of the current health system and what they would like to change so that it meets the needs of ALL South Africans.
We recognise that health care is a fundamental right protected by Section 27 of our Constitution and as such, we believe that everyone has a right to healthcare regardless of whether they are able to pay for it or not. In terms of the proposed healthcare reforms, we will continue to advocate for effective, accountable primary healthcare services that are free at the point of delivery.
Further information and Resources
- Health Economics Unit at UCT http://heu-uct.org.za/
- FACT SHEETS - http://heu-uct.org.za/research/publications/information-sheets/
- View our presentation to the National Health Insurance International Conference on 8 December 2011
- The dilemmas of co-payment and moral hazard in the context of an NHI: Working paper
This HEU working paper provides a review of the role and impact of co-payments in the context of a National Health Insurance system. It seeks to investigate if there is any clear evidence that suggests that co-payments address moral hazard.
- Community preferences for improving public sector health services in South Africa: Policy Brief
This HEU policy brief presents findings from research that explored communities’ views on the elements of public health services that they find particularly problematic.