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National health insurance: A lofty ideal in need of cautious, planned implementation

Leandra Anastasia Amado, Nicholas Christofides, Raymond Pieters, Jody Rusch

Abstract


The implementation of the National Health Insurance in South Africa is a noble attempt to address the inequities and scarcities of healthcare resources in the country. However, while South Africa’s status as a developing country does not preclude the success of universal healthcare, as evidenced by certain international models, its success is threatened by corruption, mismanagement of resources, and poor-quality institutions. Rather than build a new system on poor foundations, existing facilities need to be overhauled. Increased transparency, as well as improvement in challenges such as cleanliness, personnel attitudes, and long waiting times may secure public ‘buy-in’. Without these and other changes, public confidence will not be inspired – and, even more importantly, the system may fail in its goal of bringing about equitable resource allocation and improved healthcare.

Authors' affiliations

Leandra Anastasia Amado, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Nicholas Christofides, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Raymond Pieters, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Jody Rusch, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

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Keywords

National Health Insurance; Universal Healthcare; Resource Allocation

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2012;5(1):4-10.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-04-05
Date published: 2012-06-14

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