The ruling party has announced its plan to forge forward with the National Health Insurance (NHI) under President Ramaphosa’s leadership.
After an African National Congress (ANC) media conference on Sunday, 31 March 2019, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the NHI might be referred to as ‘Ramaphosa-care’ because the president had taken over the bill and oversaw the operation that will see universal healthcare afforded to everyone in South Africa.
“In the US, universal health coverage was called Obamacare. Why? Because the team was in former president [Barack] Obama’s office. Many of you didn’t know who the US minister of health was, but you heard about Obamacare,” he said.
Motsoaledi explained that he had asked President Ramaphosa to take over the planning and the roll out of the NHI because that was the only equal, universal healthcare in South Africa that would become a reality. He also added that some things required for NHI could only be authorized by the president, as the minister of health could not give instructions to the minister of finance for budget allocations nor instruct the minister of home affairs to change certain legislation.
The minister of health said the war room, headed by the president’s health and social issues adviser Professor Olive Shisana, was an effort to make the long-delayed NHI a reality in the sixth administration.
The plans for NHI bring good news to all who live in South Africa, including undocumented immigrants. Without going into detail, Mostoaledi confirmed that NHI would also cater to undocumented individuals, as it is their constitutional right.
“We are processing the documents in the NHI because there are international conventions that apply in that situation.
“I can’t go into it, but we have definitely got a plan which is based on the constitution, based on international conventions and based on practices done in countries that have got national health schemes like ourselves,” Motsoaledi said.