Pretoria - South Africa’s proposed National Health Insurance
(NHI) programme, aimed at giving greater access to healthcare for the country’s
poor, will require R125bn in 2012 and R214bn by 2020, according to a government
policy paper released on Thursday.
The NHI, currently being discussed by the government and
other parties in South Africa’s healthcare system, will require R255bn by 2025,
the paper said.
“The goal is to try and finance healthcare for everybody,” Health
Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told reporters at a briefing.
The government is auditing the country's health facilities
in preparation for the piloting of the NHI Motsoaledi said.
The pilot would take place in 10 selected districts.
It would help the department finalise the design of service
benefits, how the population would be covered and how the service would be
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,
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
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.