ANALYSIS: NHI Bill – clause-by-clause headbutting begins in Parliament

In what is expected to become a verbal minefield littered with the usual ideological quips, the members of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health this week started the clause-by-clause deliberations on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. Alicestine October assesses the first leg of the deliberations and issues set to pop up in the next round of deliberations, starting with clause 5 of the Bill next week.

Read More

Opinion: District hospitals will be key to NHI, empower them

The successful implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI) will rely heavily on effective governance at district level. The NHI Bill correctly identifies district hospitals as key during the early transitional NHI phases. Failing to capacitate them for the challenges ahead could prove disastrous, argues Russell Rensburg and Claire Botha.

Read More

Opinion: Safeguarding public procurement and resources now beyond urgent

At an estimated R27 billion per year, the cost of corruption equates to about 10% of the country’s total budget for health in 2022. With procurement understood to be a government’s single greatest corruption risk – health contracts are especially vulnerable. This is why reform related to safeguarding public procurement and resources is now beyond urgent, argues Zukiswa Kota.

Read More

OPINION: Despite some positives, budget is not up to our health challenges

As we transition towards a different strategy in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and look to build up better, there was an expectation that the budget tabled this week, would provide insight into the government’s response and strategy to address the gaps left by COVID. Russel Rensburg looks at some of the budget’s hits and misses as it relates to healthcare.

Read More

In-depth on NHI: Common themes emerging from parliamentary hearings (PART 1)

On Wednesday this week, it will be the 25th day of public hearings in Parliament on the National Health Insurance Bill since the hearings started in May last year. In Part 1 of this two-part series on the NHI Bill, Alicestine October looks at how MPs have dealt with oral submissions on the Bill in Parliament so far and assesses what this means for the Bill going forward.

Read More

Health in 2021: Another tumultuous year in under a thousand words

It wasn’t rocket science when we predicted at the start of 2021 that South Africa’s biggest challenge this year would be to get COVID-19 shots into as many arms as possible. But the way it has played out with multiple setbacks and scrambling problem-solving is not something anyone could have predicted. In fewer than a thousand words, Spotlight editor Marcus Low takes a look back at a tumultuous year in health in South Africa.

Read More

Corruption and ministerial powers centre stage at NHI hearings

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize this week provided an update on investigations into a multimillion-rand NHI communications contract mired in controversy. That same morning, MPs in Parliament were again reminded of how critical an independent National Health Insurance Board will be. One organisation proposed an additional NHI corruption-fighting unit. Alicestine October has the latest from in and outside of Parliament.

Read More

What SA’s COVID-19 experience tells us about NHI

For all the suffering and death the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over the last 12 months, it has arguably also provided a unique opportunity to test some of the mechanisms behind South Africa’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system. The centralised procurement of vaccines and the contracting of doctors, for example, are probably not dissimilar from the arrangements we might see under NHI. Kathryn Cleary asks three leading health experts what lessons, for NHI, we should learn from the COVID-19 response.

Read More