Pulling the plug: will NHI kill South African health care?
With the National Council of Provinces set to sign off on the National Health Insurance Bill, the government is ready to run with its plan for state-run health care. But critics — including the doctors who’ll have to deliver the service — say the system will fail to deliver even the most basic of health-care services
Caroline Corbett is that rare breed of doctor. As a specialist anaesthetist, she also gets business. In 2019, she won the Tech Entrepreneur of the Year award for SmartBlade, a start-up she cofounded that has developed a new smartphone-enabled way to manage patients’ airways.
Yet when she describes a dystopian South Africa of the future, in which all doctors in the country are contracted to a state-run National Health Insurance (NHI) fund that will be the only route for people to access medical treatment, she sketches a landscape of a slowly choking economy...
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