He was asked multiple times at the Friday event if medical aid schemes would still be allowed to exist. He said first and foremost the NHI single fund would buy services for the whole country. The medical aids could step in. "Are we banning medical aids? No. That role is going to keep changing as NHI opens up right now. We are engaging with medical aids. We will change the way medical aids work."
He added: "What we envisage is health care for all South Africans will come from National Health Insurance."
However, he said people with private healthcare could not see a specialist if they wished to for no good reason. He complained that many people visited specialists for treatment that GPs could give. Instead, specialists needed to treat the sickest South Africans, he said.
"It is not my right to see a specialist because I can afford it. It is a distortion of how the system should be working."
He said the key part of NHI was for "social solidarity", meaning the rich helping the poor and the healthy subsidising the sick.
He said the "totality of resources must be available to help those who are sicker".