PRETORIA, South Africa’s Cabinet has approved the White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) to be gazetted as a policy document, saying it takes the country closer to ensuring all South Africans have access to healthcare, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
The NHI is a health financing scheme designed to pool funds to provide access to quality, affordable personal health services for all South Africans based on their health needs.
The Cabinet said in a statement after its meeting here Thursday that the move was consistent with the National Development Plan’s objective to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare, regardless of their income.
The Department of Health will hold a briefing to fully unveil the elements of the White Paper next Thursday.
During his department’s Budget Vote in Parliament in May, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said tax credits worth 20 billion Rand (about 1.54 billion US dollars) were being earmarked for the establishment of the NHI Fund.
The NHI is being implemented in phases over a 14-year period, which started in 2012. It is being established through the creation of the single fund which will buy services on behalf of the entire population. Funding for the NHI will be through a combination of various mandatory pre-payment sources, primarily based on general taxes.
The Cabinet has also approved the Revised Human Resource Development Strategy towards 2030. The revised strategy addresses the weaknesses identified in the last five years in some parts of the education and training system, and the lack of co-ordination between the different arms of the system.
The strategy is now aligned to the NDP and the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019. It also focuses all the relevant stakeholders (government, labour, civil organizations and private sector) on the needs of the economy and the importance of supporting an industrial strategy to achieve inclusive growth and development, the Cabinet said.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK