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Understanding National Health Insurance in South Africa

Understanding National Health Insurance in South Africa

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The National Health Insurance, commonly known as the NHI, aims to ensure that all South Africans have access to appropriate, efficient and quality health services. The right to health, as an economic, social and cultural right to a universal minimum standard of health to which all individuals are entitled, requires government action and that the state provides welfare to the individual. Section 27 of the Bill of Rights affirms the right of everyone to have access to health care services. An obligation is placed on the state to achieve the progressive realisation of this right. 

While some legislative measures have been instituted, the National Health Insurance (NHI), however, is the direct and most germane response to that directive and towards realising universal health coverage.

The NHI underpins the establishment of a unified health system in the country based on the principles of social solidarity, progressive universalism, equity and health as a public good and a social investment, thereby underscoring the values of justice, fairness and equity. Based on its principle of equity, the NHI will need to ensure a fair and just health care system for all and access to health services within reasonable periods.

This book is timely as it will serve to inform stakeholders and communities of the key elements of the NHI, its structure, processes and plans for implementation


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