NHI reforms piloted in health budget

2011-10-25 14:02 - Mzwandile Jacks
Pretoria - Expenditure on health has surged from R77.3bn to R113.2bn between the 2008 and 2012 budgets, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his budget policy statement on Tuesday.

However, the quality of health services needs to be improved, he said. “Challenges to be addressed include inadequate infrastructure, weak hospital management and a shortage of skilled health workers,” Gordhan said.

“Reforms to address these challenges will be piloted as part of the first phase of developing national health insurance (NHI).”

NHI pilot projects would take place in 10 districts, testing the “feasibility and scalability” of proposals in the green paper on NHI.

These proposals focus on primary healthcare, health promotion and preventative care.

They will include district-based clinical specialist support teams, school-based primary healthcare services, family health teams and a new approach to human resources.

The government’s medium-term priorities included increasing life expectancy, decreasing maternal and child mortality and combating HIV and Aids through strengthening the effectiveness of the health system.

The rollovers of the national expenditure in 2011 stood at R231.314m. Funds have been rolled over as follows:

  • R5.500m for IT systems in the newly-renovated Civitas building;
  • R30m for office accommodation in the Civitas building;
  • R7.500m for advertising services for the Khomanani project;
  • R3.814m for the tuberculosis prevalence survey;
  • R84.500m for the hospital revitalisation conditional grant (Gauteng R55.500m and Eastern Cape R29m); and
  • R100m for infrastructure planning, the infrastructure unit systems support project and public-private partnership feasibility studies.
 - Fin24

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