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‘NHI to be phased in over 14 years’

Time of article published Jun 29, 2011

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the National Health Insurance system will be phased in over 14 years.

Speaking at the fifth Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) central committee meeting on Wednesday, Motsoaledi said such systems had to be phased in over time.

Cosatu and its allies, the ruling African National Congress and the SA Communist Party have been pushing for a universal health care system to be implemented in the country.

Motsoaledi said the current health system was unsustainable as most of the money was spent at high level specialist and mainly private hospitals, while the majority of the health issues could be handled by community clinics and education on health issues.

He said the major problem was that private medical aids did not pay their members for staying healthy or taking medication that would keep them healthy.

“They want you to be very sick first before they pay,” Motsoaledi said.

He also called for the prices in health care, particularly the private sector, to be regulated.

“Why should a circumcision cost 15,000 rand in a private hospital, while in a public hospital it costs just 400 rand. It is the simplest of procedures,” he said. - I-Net Bridge

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