healthcareIndependent News reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised that the government will not be reckless when implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI) 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 could 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,” he pointed out.  This situation flew in the face of the constitutional right of the people to have access to quality healthcare, he noted.  However, Ramaphosa also insisted that the government would 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.”  The government has not indicated how much it will 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.  Some opposition parties have warned the state will not have the money to implement NHI.

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