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The government is auditing the country's health facilities in preparation for the piloting of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system in 2012, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.

The pilot would take place in 10 selected districts, Motsoaledi told journalists in Pretoria.

It would help the department finalise the design of service benefits, how the population would be covered and how the service would be delivered.

The NHI aims to give all people access to a certain standard of health care, regardless of their income.

People would not have to make contributions to the NHI yet, said Motsoaledi.

He said a conditional grant would be made in the 2012 budget to fund the pilot project.

He said the selection of districts for the first five years of the pilot would be based on the results of the audits.

The factors which would be taken into account included a district's health profile, demographics, income levels and other social factors impacting on health.

Motsoaledi said that, in the next five years, the government intended strengthening the management of health facilities and health districts, improving quality, developing infrastructure and establishing the NHI fund.

He said it was soon to say whether the government would do away with government medical aids in the next 14 years.

He re-affirmed the government's commitment to appoint the right people in the right positions to ensure there was no abuse of the system.

“We will start with management,” he said, adding that a plan would be detailed in a Green Paper to be made public on Friday. - Sapa