Health conscious

By THIS time next year all South African citizens could have access to the same quality healthcare - that is if all goes well with the proposed National Health Insurance scheme.

By THIS time next year all South African citizens could have access to the same quality healthcare - that is if all goes well with the proposed National Health Insurance scheme.

The NHI fund, which has been proposed by the ruling party, is intended to provide universal health financing coverage.

The scheme will do away with the public and private health system and result in an unemployed person - with no medical aid - being treated at private clinics and hospitals without having to pay a cent.

The proposal document was sent to the ANC's national executive committee for approval on Friday.

Once the process is complete it would be released for public debate and consultation.

A draft bill will then be released by the end of the year. Parliament will have to approve it before it is passed as law. The whole process is expected to be complete within a year from now.

Deputy Minister of Health Molefi Sefularo said that "under the NHI every South African would benefit from quality healthcare services".

"The scheme will be funded partly by compulsory contributions by all persons who are earning an income - and partly by tax.

"All these funds will be placed in a single pool. This pool will be available to fund all healthcare in the public and private sector."

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