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Ramaphosa sets up “war room” to prepare for free health services

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has set up a National Health Insurance (NHI) “war room” to address challenges in the public healthcare system, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said.

The minister said this when he addressed the launch of the Presidential Health Summit Report on behalf of Ramaphosa in Cape Town on Tuesday, 12 February 2019.

The president, who had just returned from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) early Tuesday, 12 February 2019, was unable to personally launch the report, and delegated Motsoaledi to do so.

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Ramaphosa indicated in his State of the Nation Address last week that in 2019 government would take a significant step towards universal health coverage that would bring quality health care to all South Africans.

The minister said the NHI delivery model would be based on the primary health care approach, which emphasised the importance of providing preventative, curative, promotion and rehabilitation services.

“By applying the principle of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation, we aim to reduce inequality in access to health care. Realising the magnitude of the challenges in health care, we have established an NHI and quality improvement ‘war room’ in the presidency.

“This war room brings together various key ministries to address the crisis in the public health system, while preparing for the implementation of the NHI”, he said.

“The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities”, the minister added.

– APA

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