President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Government will not be reckless in implementing NHI policy, says Ramaphosa

By SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised they will not be reckless when implementing the National Health Insurance in the next five years.

Ramaphosa, in his weekly newsletter, wrote that it was a travesty that 20% of the people had access to quality healthcare because they can afford it and the remaining 80% were denied basic quality healthcare.

“Around R250billion is spent annually on less than 20% of the population. This is the section of our population that has access to private medical insurance. On the other hand our country spends R220billion on the rest of the population.”

This flew in the face of the Constitutional right of the people to have access to quality healthcare, he said.

However, Ramaphosa insisted they will not be reckless when implementing NHI. 

“We will implement it in an incremental fashion and aim to cover the whole country by 2025. We will use an affordable approach to progressively move towards a comprehensive NHI environment,” said Ramaphosa.

The government had not indicated how much it would spend on the NHI.

But Ramaphosa said all stakeholders in the health sector must rally around the NHI as it was an important intervention in the sector.

“Healthcare's escalating cost is affecting South Africans where it hurts most, in their pockets. As last year's Health Market Inquiry report shows, even those with private health insurance are buckling under rising premiums and shrinking benefits. Out-of-pocket payments are on the increase, draining disposable incomes."

Some opposition parties have warned the state would not have the money to implement NHI.

Political Bureau 

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