Let’s be pragmatic – the NHI has constructive and contentious aspects

Let’s be pragmatic – the NHI has constructive and contentious aspects

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently signed the NHI Bill into law. The question is whether this will bring South Africa closer towards Universal Health Coverage. Professor Susan Cleary argues that the NHI is a wide ranging reform with both positive and controversial aspects. The key will be to find a middle ground in order to continue on the journey to UHC.

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Health Budget 2024 fails to address poverty-related health issues and build trust for NHI – SAMRC

Health Budget 2024 fails to address poverty-related health issues and build trust for NHI – SAMRC

The 2024 national budget offer some glimmers but allocations for direct health benefits fall short of making a difference to people’s health and wellbeing. These include a ring-fenced allocation to crack down on corruption in health to inspire trust for the National Health Insurance, taxing accessories for e-cigarettes, a jacked up child-support grant, clarity on plans dealing with climate change and its impacts on human health, and finally greater investment to enhance women’s capabilities alongside the Covid-19 grant, researchers from the South African Medical Research Council write exclusively for Spotlight.

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Patient-centred health care: The NHI revolution you deserve

Patient-centred health care: The NHI revolution you deserve

A patient-centred health system will remain an illusion under the NHI unless the public health system is ramped up to better serve users and a clear path is outlined for public-private partnerships, argue Bernard Mutsago and Haseena Majid.

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Mixed feelings on NHI aired at Eastern Cape hearing

Mixed feelings on NHI aired at Eastern Cape hearing

Concerns around corruption and whether or not there would be health coverage for foreign nationals were two of the top talking points at a recent public hearing on the National Health Insurance Bill held in the Eastern Cape. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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Opinion: Exciting health reforms are possible if we can move beyond all the political sclerosis

Opinion: Exciting health reforms are possible if we can move beyond all the political sclerosis

It is often enlightening to ask how and why certain services differ in the ways they do between the private and public healthcare sectors. By too rigidly focusing on the NHI Bill, argues Spotlight Editor Marcus Low, government risks losing sight of the many other interesting answers to this and other important questions about healthcare reform in South Africa.

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In-depth: What two major bills might mean for health sector procurement in SA

In-depth: What two major bills might mean for health sector procurement in SA

Between South Africa’s Public Procurement Bill and the National Health Insurance Bill, health sector procurement in the country is set for a major shake-up – all as a landmark court decision recently reaffirmed the Constitutional imperative that public procurement must be conducted in a transparent way. Alicestine October takes a deep dive into the accelerating currents of procurement reform.

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Analysis: Incentives seem to work in private healthcare, why not in public?

Analysis: Incentives seem to work in private healthcare, why not in public?

Doing ‘the right thing’ for one’s health, be it eating well, exercising, or going for an annual HIV test or blood pressure check, is easier said than done. One way to nudge people to make these ‘right’ decisions is to offer rewards or incentives. Amy Green asks whether aspects of some popular private-sector incentive schemes might be worth copying in South Africa’s public sector.

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Opinion: There are paths to quality universal healthcare besides NHI

Opinion: There are paths to quality universal healthcare besides NHI

One of the most damaging aspects of our public discourse on National Health Insurance (NHI) is the mistaken notion in some quarters that the only two options are NHI and the status quo, argues Marcus Low.

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Mpumalanga health department responds to latest clinic monitoring findings

Mpumalanga health department responds to latest clinic monitoring findings

According to the latest report from community-based clinic monitoring group Ritshidze, users of public sector health facilities in Mpumalanga are experiencing shorter waiting times, cleaner facilities, and extended antiretroviral refills compared to previous years. But Ritshidze also reports ongoing staff shortages, problematic staff attitudes, and problems with infrastructure. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks the new findings and asks the province’s health department what they are planning in response.

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Despite undertakings, still no permanent head of health in Northern Cape

Despite undertakings, still no permanent head of health in Northern Cape

The Northern Cape Department of Health has for the last three years only had acting heads of department. Despite undertakings from the Office of the Premier last year and again earlier this year that an appointment will be made soon, the department still has no permanent head, something that has opposition political parties and some unions up in arms. Refilwe Mochoari reports.

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OPINION: Struggle for migrant health rights still far from over after landmark judgment 

OPINION: Struggle for migrant health rights still far from over after landmark judgment 

In a landmark court decision, the Gauteng High Court recently confirmed the rights of all pregnant and lactating women and children under age six to access services for free at all levels of care. The court order sets a good precedent for migrant health rights going forward, writes Mbali Baduza and Kholofelo Mphahlele as they explain the build-up to the court proceedings and why this is significant for re-affirming the right to access to healthcare for all in terms of section27 of the Constitution.

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