NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
Is an NHI fund really possible in 2017?
There is a process to be followed for passing any legislation, which is practically impossible to complete within this year, writes Johann Serfontein
In his recent budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan indicated that the establishment of the National Health Insurance (NHI) fund was imminent and that further details on this would be provided in the interim government budget in October. Although Gordhan is a well-respected figure and is following the mandate from the Department of Health in trying to find ways to fund the NHI, it is important to realise that there is a process to be followed for passing any legislation, which is practically impossible to complete within this year. In order for an NHI fund to be established, the necessary regulatory framework needs to be provided by the government. The normal process for this would be publishing a green paper, followed by a white paper, followed by a draft bill and finally an act by Parliament. In the case of NHI, the green paper was published in 2011 and the white paper four years later, in 2015. It is now widely accepted that there will be a second draft white paper that ...