Govt working on accelerating implementation of NHI - Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said they were on accelerating universal healthcare and would provide a detailed plan soon.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday said his department was working on accelerating the finalisation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) to provide South Africans with universal healthcare.

Mkhize said this during a briefing to Parliament’s health portfolio committee on his department’s annual plans and budget.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation Address in June that government was at a “far advanced” stage in the revision of a detailed NHI plan for implementation.

He said this would include accelerating quality of care initiatives, like building human resource capacity, the establishment of the NHI Fund structure and costing the administration of the initiative.

Mkhize said they were on accelerating universal healthcare and would provide a detailed plan soon.

“The president announced that we need to accelerate the implementation of the NHI, we are working on this and we will be announcing our actions in terms of what we need to be done in order to implement the NHI,” Mkhize said.

NHI, once implemented, means every South African would have the right to access comprehensive healthcare services free of charge.

The NHI is a massive overhaul of South Africa’s health care industry, which envisions that every South African becomes a member of a state-run medical scheme.

Mkhize said his department, which has a R51 billion budget, was sitting with a lot of work to do.

“We really believe that there’s a lot of work that we have to do to follow those goals,” he said.