Friday, August 12, 2011

National Health Insurance For South Africa

Yesterday the South African government announced the approval of a national health insurance plan to replace the outdated and weak public facilities currently available. The pilot scheme should begin next year, with a full national roll-out estimated to take around 14 years.

The finance minister Pravin Gordhan advised the new scheme would be funded through tax revenue, additional mandatory contributions from employers and and there is the possibility of combining with the private sector to offer plans for treatments and services not covered by the main scheme.

The country's current quality healthcare is almost entirely provided by the private sector, which is only available to around 16% of the current population. The remainder of the 50 million population rely on public hospitals, which are overburdened and under staffed under the current system. The legislation will be drawn up in the coming days.

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