Access to universal healthcare coverage is crucial for economic development, but the biggest challenges to realising it are cost and implementation. The Department of Health has published a white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI), setting SA on course to provide universal coverage. However, the white paper has raised debate about the efficacy of the department’s proposals. SA’s slow economic growth and high unemployment are expected to hinder fund collection for the NHI. Universal healthcare coverage was the subject of discussion on Monday at the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference, which started at the weekend in Cape Town. Panelists from across SA and the globe discussed the issue. Dr Rufaro Chatora, the country representative of the World Health Organisation in SA, said universal health coverage was part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and it was important for governments to view it from that perspective. Sustainable Development Goal No 3 highlights...

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