NHI is about fairer access and better use of resources
Private medical schemes in SA accumulate most of the money in the country’s health sector but serve only about 16% of the population
The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill introduced to the National Assembly aims to move SA towards universal health coverage. The term means something different from either a general legal entitlement for all people to get some type of care, or simply an affiliation to any type of health insurance (or medical scheme as they are known in SA) programme.
On one level, universal health coverage is an aspiration — that all people can get the services they need, of good quality, without fear of financial hardship. That “achievement” is just an aspiration because every country, no matter how rich, does not provide everything for everyone...