NHI all about transformation - Motsoaledi

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cape Town - Government's main priority is to transform the health system, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has assured people who are not convinced about the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

Speaking during a debate on President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address, Motsoaledi said NHI skeptics are people who are against change and have no interest in the well-being and security of patients.

"I have assured them time and again that NHI will not be implemented in isolation... the quality of the provision of health care is definitely going to be one of the criteria used before a health institution is accredited for purposes of NHI," he said.
The scheme has received some criticism from the health insurance and medical aid sector.
Organisations like the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) have argued that NHI will have a significant effect on the future of most players in the South African medical aid industry. They want a comprehensive study into the effects diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria will have on the private and public funding environment.
Motsoaledi said legislation that will bind all health care institutions to adhere to NHI requirements will be tabled in parliament.

"The assessment tool on how to audit compliance with standards will be tested in every province starting from the 8th to the 12th of March this year," he said.

Hospital managers across the county will receive information on what is expected of them in order to meet the NHI standards and failure to meet the required standards will not be without consequences, he added.
NHI is a new initiative which government says will offer a comprehensive package of healthcare services in line with those available in the public sector.