National Health Insurance (NHI) will require a massive re-organisation of the current health system, both public and private, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said as he released the long-awaited NHI Bill for public comment. The Bill was published in the Government Gazette on Thursday, paving the way for the Department of Health to set up an NHI fund that will purchase healthcare services on behalf of the population. It is the first piece of enabling legislation for realising the government’s ambitions for introducing universal healthcare. The minister said he was acutely aware of the problems confronting the public healthcare system, but improving its quality was an ongoing task, and NHI could not wait for that to be completed. NHI is at heart a set of health financing reforms the government hopes will change SA’s deeply inequitable access to healthcare, which sees wealthier people paying for generally high quality private healthcare services, while less well-off people depend on a...

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