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'Under NHI, the rich will subsidise the poor, the young will subsidise the old'

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is set to spell out details of the National Health Insurance bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill at a media briefing in Pretoria.

FILE: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is on Thursday expected to unveil far-reaching proposals aimed at bringing about universal health coverage in the country.

Motsoaledi is set to spell out details of the National Health Insurance Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill at a media briefing in Pretoria.

This week, Motsoaledi told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that no country can fight poverty, unemployment or grow the economy with a “very sick population”.

He says that every citizen needs access to quality health care in order to reach their full potential and that to achieve this, fair and equitable financing of health care “is inevitable”.

“Under NHI, the rich will subsidise the poor, the young will subsidise the old, the healthy will subsidise the sick, the urban will subsidise the rural.”

Motsoaledi has warned that implementing NHI will not be easy and that he expects “a hurricane” of protest.

“We are contending that this will be a substantial policy shift. It necessitates a massive reorganisation of the whole health care system, both public and private.”

(Editing by Leeto M Khoza)