National health insurance (NHI) is one of the most misunderstood terms in healthcare in SA. Its real meaning is sometimes augmented and most frequently diminished to represent something that it should not be or will not be. It is a funding system, not a delivery system. But the latter concept seems to be a good political tool and is sold to the voter as the solution to our healthcare problems.

NHI is not a strategy or a health structure. Far from that. It is actually only a funding system in which money for healthcare is centrally managed — not the process or quality of care.

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