Draft South African Law Sets Stage for National Health Insurance

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s government published a draft law that will enable the establishment of a mandatory national health insurance system that will provide cover to all citizens.

The bill proposes setting up a national health insurance fund that would buy healthcare services on behalf of all its members, according to a copy published on the government’s website on Thursday. The fund would be the sole state purchaser of health services and determine the nation’s healthcare costs, it said.

While the government first proposed phasing in national health insurance in 2009 over a period of 14 years, it has been slow in getting off the ground and there has been little clarity over how it will be funded -- an issue not addressed in the draft law. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is due to hold a briefing on the new law later on Thursday.

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