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We can replicate the COVID-19 response to implement NHI - medical expert

18 May 2020 6:30 PM
Tags:
NHI
National department of health
Professor Steve Reid says it is possible to work across private and public sectors to pull resources where they're needed.

Health workers union, Nehawu’s spokesperson, Khaya Xaba wrote a piece in The Citizen on the weekend, arguing that the National Health Insurance Bill needs to be sped up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue with the NHI hasn’t necessarily been the idea of universal healthcare, which is a noble one, but the question of how it would be implemented.

Joanne Joseph speaks to Steve Reid, medical academic and chair of primary health care at the University of Cape Town, for his take on this.

It has been an extraordinary collaboration between private and public sectors through this coronavirus response. It shows what can be done in this country once we are united behind that common goal.

Steve Reid, Medical academic and chair of primary healthcare - University of Cape Town

On the negative is that a lot of the decision-making has been very centralised to date, which is maybe appropriate during an acute crisis. But as we transition to a new normal, we have to look at ways to democratise healthcare, giving control back to communities.

Steve Reid, Medical academic and chair of primary healthcare - University of Cape Town

The pandemic will only be overcome by community-wide efforts, at personal, family and workplace level to control the spread of the infection.

Steve Reid, Medical academic and chair of primary healthcare - University of Cape Town

What we need is a groundswell of support to make these changes happened, and it is the same with the NHI. You can pass all sorts of laws - and South Africa is good at that - (but) we are great at policy but very poor on implementation.

Steve Reid, Medical academic and chair of primary healthcare - University of Cape Town

What we see with the COVID-19 response is that it is possible to work across private and public sectors to pull resources where they're needed in terms of solidarity.

Steve Reid, Medical academic and chair of primary health care - University of Cape Town

Listen below for more ...


18 May 2020 6:30 PM
Tags:
NHI
National department of health

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