MPs get an update on NHI

The NHI pilot project is facing numerous challenges, including staff shortages.

The NHI pilot project is facing numerous challenges including staff shortages. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Health Department on Wednesday said major structural reforms will be key to the successful rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Officials gave Members of Parliament (MPs) a progress report earlier on the piloting of NHI in 11 districts across the country.

The districts were announced in 2012.

The progress report shows uneven but significant progress in the introduction of NHI in the pilot districts.

But staff shortages have been identified as a problem in many facilities.

Health Director-General Precious Matsoso said major structural reforms were needed.

"You increase your workforce but it has budgetary implications. Or you contract services with private providers. These are the things that we have to address."

She said a funding model is yet to be finalised.

The NHI is aimed at providing essential healthcare to all South Africans regardless of their financial status.