The objectives of the National Health Insurance (NHI) legislation have considerable merit, but if the NHI is to deliver on its mandate of providing essential health care to all South Africans, infrastructure at private and public hospitals must be improved and developed.

Though the NHI will not manage hospitals, clinics or the practices of other health-care professionals — instead contracting with practitioners to provide these services to South Africans — the public health system is already constrained and cannot continue with business as usual. Many public hospitals and clinics would be forced to close due to practical infrastructure breakdown if the minimum operational requirements of the infrastructure unit support systems were enforced...

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