The pilot phase of the National Health Insurance scheme in South Africa starts in ten districts across the country
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi unveiled South Africa’s national health insurance (NHI) plan last Friday that seeks to extend universal health coverage to all citizens by 2025. The plan will be phased in over the next 14 years, starting with pilot schemes in 10 areas in April 2012. The idea of extending coverage to all was first discussed at the African National Congress’s (ANC) 52nd Annual Conference in December 2007 and reinforces South Africa’s Bill of Rights provision that “everyone has the right to have access to healthcare services, including reproductive healthcare.”
Under South Africa’s current two-tiered approach, health care is heavily skewed towards the private sector. Though only 20% of South Africans seek care in the private sector, the majority of resources are concentrated there and it has effectively distorted pricing across the public sector.