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Discussion Of The Feasibility Of A Centralized “National Health Insurance Fund

1130 words - 5 pages

In The Department of Health’s expedition of achieving “universal healthcare access”, it proposed the idea of a centralized “National Health Insurance Fund”. In order to discuss the feasibility of the fund the following will be discussed: A brief outline of the NHI and its objectives, the burden imposed on the Health care system in South Africa due to the quadruple burden of diseases (HIV/AIDS and TB, Maternal and child death, non-communicable diseases and violence and injuries) and inaccessibility of Primary Health Care to the majority of the population. Some of the challenges faced by the NHI including: two-tiered health system: (Private and Public Health care system) and the problems which ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore refugees will be covered by the Fund in terms of the Refugees act of 1998. The fund’s primary objectives include: the removal of the tiered health system, improving the accessibility of quality health care services, providing financial risk protection when acquiring Health care and in the process ensuring that “everyone has access to appropriate, efficient and quality health services regardless of their socio-economic status”. The Insurance fund will cover Medical costs and create a greater accessibility to Quality Primary Health care. The Fund will however not cover “expensive glass frames, cosmetic dental and plastic surgery and Botox”. The policy follows four key concepts namely, totally transforming healthcare service delivery and provision, overhauling the whole health care system, provision of a re-engineered Primary Health Care System and “racial change of administration and management”. Additionally, the fund noted three factors undermining high health outcomes as mentioned by the WHO (2008): Hospital Centrism, the fragmentation in programs and service delivery and uncontrolled commercialism by pharmaceutical companies which are primarily aimed at generating profits. Funding for the Health insurance fund will be made through SARS (The South African Revenue Services) by collecting general tax revenue from employers and employees, although the precise amount is still to be announced by the National Treasury. The policy does state that “revenue base should be as broad as possible in order to achieve the lowest contribution rates”, therefore the more South African are actively participate , the less tax will be required to be payed towards the fund. Citizens who choose to continue using the Private Health system will still however be required to contribute towards the fund. The costs involved in the implementation of the fund over the 14 years are as follows: R125 billion in 2012, to R214 billion in the year 2020 and further increase to R225 billion in 2025. Furthermore the following Bodies will be established: Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) which will comprise of an inspection, norm and standard unit and an intercessor/ ombudsman an OCSA body which will be established by an Act of Parliament. The establishment of these bodies is to set standards and continually inspect hospitals.

REFERENCES:
• Authors: Child, K.
National Health Insurance: A dummy's guide
Authors: Child, K. 2011. National Health Insurance: A dummy's guide. [online] Available at: http://mg.co.za/article/2011-08-12-national-health-insurance-a-dummys-guide [Accessed: 22 Mar 2014].

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