There is no better time to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa than now. That’s according to former prime minister of Norway, who is also the former director-general in the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gro Brundtland.

She is part of a group called The Elders who have been sharing their experiences on rolling out universal health coverage in their countries – at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Brundtland says South Africa needs to take a firm stand on corruption for the NHI to succeed.

“I do feel it is important to challenge the view that because of these economic backdrop the NHI bill is somehow unaffordable, not many countries have launched UHC reforms exactly in times of economic difficulties including the UK, Norway and Japan after the second world war and Thailand after the Asian economic crisis of 99.”

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