The Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa (BHF) has welcomed the release of the
latest version of the National Health Insurance (NHI) draft bill by South Africa’s Parliament.
According to the BHF. This is an important step towards the establishment of Universal
Health Coverage (UHC).
“The BHF has always been in support of the decision by government to implement Universal
Health Coverage using NHI as a vehicle echoed largely because of the intended outcome of
UHC which is very much in line with the BHF’s own vision which talks to a health care
system that caters for the needs of the health citizen, which is affordable and delivers high
quality care,” said BHF’s Managing Director, Dr Katlego Mothudi.
“We further believed that it is better to participate with the shaping of the NHI from within
rather than be critical outside of the process,” he said.
“This will ensure that we start collaborating in earnest with the State. To this end as the BHF,
we will participate fully in the process and submit to the processes and the discourse for the
contemplated bill,” said Dr Mothudi.
“We have historically participated in all the iterations of the NHI bill and its various policy
papers. We are acutely aware of the state of our entire health care system and we note that
just by introducing the framework for NHI will not solve all the issues and we thus view the
NHI processes as one of the elements that are required to correct the dire situation that we
are in as a country,” he said.
Dr Mothudi said the NHI bill is complementary of other policy documents on health reforms
including those by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has promoted an integrated
system health care system that has multiple pillars.
According to the WHO framework, the six pillars also include leadership and governance,
infrastructure, medicines and technology, health information systems and human resources
These priorities are also contained in the recently signed Presidential Health Summit
compact which has in total nine pillars that talks to a number of the aforementioned
components, launched by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in July of this year.
“We further welcome the invitation to by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize for the
private sector collaboration as we firmly believe that there is enough pockets of excellence
from both the State and Non-State sectors that will help us accelerate the process towards
reforming our health care system,” said Dr Mothudi.
“The BHF also believes that are two major elements required for us as a country to take this
forward. The first is strong and positive leadership. It has been demonstrated in various
countries where universal health coverage was successfully implemented, that it was
leadership largely supported by the highest office in the land which made sure that there is a
will to succeed,” he said.
“Secondly, we believe that we need to strive for sector cohesion because without
participation of all the role players it will be very difficult to craft an integrated health system
that will benefit the citizens of our country.” Said Dr Mothudi.
The BHF further submits that a well-functioning healthcare system is a necessary catalyst to
bolster the economy of the country and not the other way round. “We cannot thus wait to fix
all the country’s other ills before we contemplate implementation of the Universal Health
Coverage,” he concluded.
Note to editors: The BHF is a representative body of the healthcare funding industry. BHF
members include medical schemes, administrators and managed care organisations in
Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho.
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Tel: +27 11 537 0236