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Phasing in of NHI is frustratingly slow: Dr Nicholas Crisp

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The Department of Health’s Deputy Director-General Dr Nicholas Crisp has described the phasing in of the National Health Insurance (NHI) as frustratingly slow.

He says he’s pleased that the NHI has passed its first hurdle. This after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) voted in favour of the NHI Bill.

The NHI is expected to be implemented in stages.

However, healthcare organisations, businesses and opposition parties are strongly opposed to the Bill
and have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa not to sign it into law.

Crisp says they are frustrated that it has taken long to get this far.

“What will happen is a slow building up of capacity and shifting of funds. So those who detract will make big statements like R200 billion additional money to be provided without qualifying. That is a portion of the money that’s already being spent in the public sector and the private sector,”  says Crisp.

“So we are already spending R265 billion a year in the public sector and the private sector. We already spent as South Africans R277 billion. This is collectively the money we should be giving a decent health service for and we are not,” adds Crisp.

Most stakeholders laud the idea behind the National Health Insurance in South Africa which is to provide access to quality healthcare services for all, not just those who can afford to pay for private doctors or cover.

However, various bodies like the South African Medical Association have said that the Bill is unaffordable and unfeasible in its current form.

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