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NHI pilot projects to kick-off

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says they will soon be rolling out the NHI pilot programme.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says they will soon be rolling out the NHI pilot programme.

CAPE TOWN - The Health Ministry on Friday said it was plagued with many challenges while trying to kick-start the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot programme.

The programme, which will run over three years, is aimed at providing a better and more comprehensive healthcare service to the poor.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said it was all systems go for the country's NHI pilot project despite the countless logistical problems.

Sighting finance issues and doctors refusing to commit to the project, Motsoaledi told Parliament he was confident the project would be up and running by the beginning of April.

Howver, the minister said only 10 of the 11 districts will be running the programme by then as too many issues still need to be resolved in the OR Tambo District.

Motsoaledi said a R150 million was budgeted, of which the biggest chunk would be spent in Gauteng.

The NHI will ensure that all citizens have access to essential healthcare, regardless of their employment status.