'Rich and poor must be able to use BOTH healthcare systems' - Health Minister

There have been mixed reactions to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi's health care reforms.

On Thursday he unveiled his plans for the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill during a press briefing in Pretoria.

Among them, a mandatory fund for free high quality health care for all and an end to co-payments under medical aid schemes.

Speaking to 702's Bongani Bingwa on Friday, Dr Motsoaledi admitted the current healthcare system is in dire straits.

There is no doubt that the current health care system is in severe, severe distress.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister

The first [problem] is the exorbitant cost of private health care, the second is the poor quality in the public health care system. And we are solving them together in order to achieve universal health coverage.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister

The Minister says currently only around 16 percent of the population have access to private health care facilities.

The rich and the poor must be able to use BOTH healthcare systems, and you can only do that if there is a common pool of funds for universal health care cover.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister

He also tackled the issue of the possibility of corruption under the planned NHI system.

Why do people believe we are planning the NHI for corruption? We abhor corruption. If you look at the Bill we are proposing a lot of committees, non-government committees, to look into these issues [of corruption].

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister

Listen to the Minister responding to callers questions on the NHI:


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