2023 is set to be another tumultuous year for healthcare services, health policy, and governance in South Africa. We’ve picked 13 things to look out for this year arranged under three broad headings: leadership and governance, policy and legislation, and HIV, TB and the NSP.
National Health Insurance (NHI) was one of the hot topics at the 2022 Public Health Association of South Africa Conference recently held in Durban. While several speakers and attendees expressed support for the principles underpinning NHI, many also expressed reservations. Elri Voigt assesses what the conference told us about the views of some of South Africa’s public health experts on NHI.
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.
Framing the fundamental human right to healthcare as insurance cover opens it up for exploitation. It blocks any possibility of achieving equity in health care. Here Dr Louis Reynolds from the People’s Health Movement of South Africa explains why and how.
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.
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.
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.
Even as the need for a more equitable health system is being demonstrated, news has broken of large-scale corruption in the procurement of PPE. This makes it difficult for a population worn down by corruption to envisage the transformation of the health system into a system of contracting and procurement under National Health Insurance, writes Sasha Stevenson.