South Africa needs to spend money allocated to health care
more efficiently, the Board of Healthcare Funders of SA (BMF) said on
"South Africa already spends 8.5% of its GDP [Gross
Domestic Product] on health and still has poor health outcomes when compared to
similar middle-income countries," BHF managing director Humphrey Zokufa
said in reaction to the national Budget unveiled.
"It is evident that South Africa needs to more
efficiently use the money it already spends on health care."
Zokufa is also a member of the national health insurance
(NHI) ministerial advisory committee.
NHI model similar to
He said the NHI model could be similar to the Gautrain model
where the private sector was contracted by government to fulfil the function of
building the entire system.
"This model creates flexibility and establishes an
appropriate platform to attract, retain, contract and remunerate the required
skills and expertise adequately," he said.
In his Budget speech, Gordhan said pilot NHI projects had
been initiated in 10 districts in 2013.
"[This]...will include improvements to health
facilities, contracting with general practitioners and financial management
reforms," Gordhan said.
Role of national health department
"A new conditional grant is introduced this year to
enable the national department of health to play a greater role in
co-ordinating these reforms."
He said the initial phase of the NHI would not place any
"new revenue demands" on the fiscus.
"Over the longer term, however, it is anticipated that
a tax increase will be needed. The National Treasury is working with the
department of health to examine the funding arrangements and system reforms
required for NHI."