National Health ‘needs private doctors’

23 March 2012

South Africa’s new National Health Insurance will not encroach on the country’s private health care system, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday.

Motsoaledi was speaking at the launch of the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot project in Pretoria. The NHI will be the first medical insurance in the country to cover all South African citizens, including those on private medical aids.

The minister said the pilot phase would explore affordability issues, as well as ways of accessing private health resources for public sector use.

This would include doctors who run private practices.

“We want to make a deal with private doctors to spend at least four hours at a local clinic. They will be paid by the government during the pilot phase.”

Motsoaledi said private doctors would form part of the NHI’s primary health care teams, which include school specialists and school-based services.

Ten districts across the country will take part in the pilot project.

Sapa