Imagine a health-care system in which the government decides how many doctors and hospitals there should be, the type of medical procedures and medicines patients may receive, and the number and type of diagnostic technologies (MRI, PET and CAT scanners, X-ray, sonar scanners) patients can access.

The government also sets the prices that hospitals, doctors, nurses, specialists, chemists and pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment makers may charge. That system is the national health insurance (NHI) system proposed for SA...

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