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Updated 23 October 2014

South African health budget to increase to half a trillion over next three years

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene announced yesterday that half a trillion rand will be spent on health care over the next three years, with a specific focus on providing antiretrovirals for those with HIV.

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Close to half a trillion rand would be spent on healthcare over the next three financial years, a big chunk going towards buying life-saving drugs for HIV-positive South Africans.

Tabling his first Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said some 2.7 million South Africans were now on antiretroviral drugs.

"The comprehensive HIV and Aids conditional grant will grow by about 13 percent a year over the medium term," he said in the document.

On the planned introduction of a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, Nene said only that it would require a "significant restructuring of intergovernmental fiscal relations" in the health sector.

"These considerations will be examined by a high-level working group that will make recommendations to the ministers' committee on the Budget."

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