The National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot project started in 2012 and is a system that is designed to pool funds to provide access to quality, affordable health care.
It is part of government’s major health sector reforms and is being rolled out over a 14-year period, but experts say nothing has come of the NHI Pilot projects.
Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management studies at the Wits School of Governance Professor Alex van den Heever says the NHI pilot project which looked as though they were going to test contracting with doctors at a provincial level, has not been successful.
According to the briefings to Parliament, the pilot projects really have not been able to achieve anything even in that particular goal.— Professor Alex van den Heever, Wits School of Governance
The question really is what they should have been trying to test, and that should have been a design of a district authority and a kind of decentralised authority that would deliver care to a particular region.— Professor Alex van den Heever, Wits School of Governance
He adds that it has been a proposal since 1994, but the district health authority would need a large degree of autonomy. You wouldn't be testing just the contracting platform, but it would be testing the governance regime, the financing model and the structure of benefits, he says.
Listen below to the full interview: