Health Insurance ‘could stretch to 25 years’

2012-08-15 12:53
Successfully implementing a national health insurance (NHI) scheme could take up to 25 years, the National Planning Commission has said.

Building an NHI system is among the objectives contained in the revised national development plan (NDP), which was handed to President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.

The 20-year plan names four prerequisites for an NHI scheme to work.

Critical factors include “improving the quality of public healthcare, lowering the cost of private care, recruiting more professionals in both the public and private sectors, and developing health information systems that span public and private health providers”.

The revised NDP says healthcare reforms will demand significant resources, and take time.

It will also require strong co-operation between the public and private sector.

Other healthcare objectives contained in the plan include drastically increasing South Africans’ life expectancy to 70 years, as well as reducing injuries, accidents and violence by 50% by 2020.

A list of actions to achieve this are listed in a summary in the plan.

The document also sets out minimum norms and standards for staffing hospitals and clinics.

It also calls for minimum qualifications for hospital managers.

The NDP says while huge strides have been made in the approach to tackling HIV/Aids over the past five years, there is no room for complacency in this regard.