Somerset West – A Treasury economist said on Thursday that the national health insurance (NHI) scheme may cost a lot less than is anticipated at present.
Chris Loewald, deputy director general of economic policy, told the annual conference of the Bureau of Economic Research that it was impossible to assess the likely impact of the NHI on the country's economy.
"We don't know what the NHI is going to look like," he said in response to a question. "We don't know how much it's going to cost."
He indicated the general contours show that the scheme will incorporate much of the spending already dispensed on health.
Loewald suggested that the additions to that spend will be smaller than the large sums of money being bandied about at present.