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National Health Insurance a priority, says minister

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Implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI) was one of the department’s priorities between 2009 and 2014, deputy Health Minister Dr Molefi Sefularo said.

He was addressing the annual conference of the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) at Sun City on Sunday night.

“We have, since December 2007, consulted broadly on matters of health, as the resolutions of the ruling party direct government to make health a priority.

“The result of these consultations, research and popular campaigns is that we have been able to identify critical challenges of the public and private health sector,” Sefularo said in a statement.

Among the other priorities was the provision of strategic leadership, reviewing the drug policy, strengthening research and development, improving the quality of health services, human resources, and planning.

“We have made it clear that we are determined to implement our ten point plan and this health plan of action with speed.

“We have also stated clearly that a lot of our work will be implemented within the context of the NHI,” he said.

The BHF supported the NHI which is based on the principle of “universal coverage” for all South Africans.

“Debates about universal coverage are neither new nor unique to South Africa,” Sefularo said.

“These debates should produce concrete proposals that will result in the improvement of the health status of all South Africans.” – Sapa

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