Budgets, while important, are not the right mechanism to drive the structural change needed to improve the responsiveness of our public health system in meeting the needs of the population. But, argues Russel Rensburg, we can reorient the health system towards meeting the health needs of the population and then let the budget bolster the reforms. Here he provides some suggestions on how to go about it and contrasts that with the budget announced by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana this week.
Residents of the OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape were mostly in favour of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill at a public hearing in Mthatha, but raised questions on how it will solve problems in the Eastern Cape’s ailing health system, especially in rural areas.
ANC veteran Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo is chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health and will play a pivotal role in deliberations over the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. The question is – will it be about serving the people or toeing the party-line?
As a strategic purchaser the NHI should be expressly pro-public sector and strategically focus on building capacity in under resourced areas such as clinics and hospitals in poorer urban communities and in rural facilities, writes Dr Lydia Cairncross.
Government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is not the only roadmap to quality healthcare for all in South Africa. The Health Market Inquiry into the private healthcare sector report points the way toward an alternative, possibly more effective, approach.