The National Health Insurance (NHI) policy of government aims to dismantle the system and introduce several structural reforms. The consultation on NHI bill, which is led by the portfolio committee of health, will ensure that NHI fund is established and able to strategically purchase health services from public and private health providers once it is enacted by the President. Concurrently, the National Department DoH, in partnership with its provincial counterparts, aims to strengthen the health system of South Africa to achieve Universal Health Coverage. The NHI bill has prioritised health promotion (non- personal), prevention and treatment (personal) services for the population.
Over the next 5 years, the Department has set the target to increase Life Expectancy to at least 66.6 years, and to 70 years by 2030. Additionally, it aims to progressively achieve Universal Health Coverage, and financial risk protection for all citizens seeking health care, through application of the principles of social solidarity, cross-subsidisation, and equity. These targets are consistent with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals to which South Africa subscribes, and Vision 2030, described by the National Development Plan, that was adopted by government in 2012.
A stronger health system, and improved quality of care will be fundamental to achieve these impacts. The Department’s Strategic Plan 2020/21-2024/25 is firmly grounded in strengthening the health system. In total, 12 of the 18 outcomes prioritised by the Department are geared to strengthen the health system, and improve quality of care, with the remaining 5 outcomes responding to the quadruple burden of disease in South Africa. Actions towards achieving these will help go a long way to ensure quality health services, and effective coverage are achieved.