NHI papers to be tabled 'soon'

2014-02-26 14:52
(Supplied) ~

Cape Town - The white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) and Treasury's financing paper for the programme will be tabled "shortly", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

This followed their completion, together with a draft NHI bill, over the past two financial years, he said, delivering his 2014 budget in the National Assembly.

Gordhan told a media briefing earlier in the day that he "hoped" both documents would be made public before the country goes to the polls for national elections in May.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched 10 pilot projects in 2012 to assess policy options for NHI.

Various initiatives will now be expanded in these 10 districts, with the support of two conditional grants.

Gordhan told MPs: "In addition to hospital and clinic building and refurbishment programmes, R1.2bn has been allocated for piloting general practitioners' contracts."

He said an independent office of healthcare standards compliance would be launched in the new financial year.

This would be responsible for inspecting health facilities and improving the quality of health provision.

The national health department will spend R487.2mn in the new financial year on the NHI and health financing sub-programme.

In 2013/14, R370.3m was spent on the sub-programme.

By 2017, estimated spending on the NHI and related funding is expected to be about R535m.

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