Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi delivered a rousing address at the launch of the National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper at the Department of Health yesterday. From a rhetorical point of view, he must achieve top marks. The paper itself is also undoubtedly an improvement on the previous attempt. Criticism of lack of detail in the previous draft was addressed thoroughly, with a much more comprehensive overview of service delivery in the NHI. The paper contains a detailed account of how the minister intends to provide access to quality healthcare for everyone, free of charge. The question remains whether the affluent truly need free healthcare, as they are clearly in a position to pay for access, but that is not raised in the White Paper. From a philosophical and academic view, the White Paper would achieve good marks. There is a detailed description of the primary focus of the system — districts and clinics will be granted more authority to deliver services and contracting units...

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