The Finance Minister confirmed that the next phase of the National Health Insurance implementation will commence in 2017/2018, involving the establishment of the National Health Fund.
Its initial focus will be:
to improve access to a common set of maternal health and ante-natal services and family planning services
to expand the integrated school health programmes, including provision of spectacles and hearing aids
to improve services for people with disabilities, the elderly and mentally ill patients, including provision of wheelchairs and other assistive devices
The Minister stated that in setting up the Fund, various funding options will be looked at, including possible adjustments to the tax credit on medical scheme contributions. Further details will be provided in the Adjustments Budget in October 2017.
In addition, the National Treasury and the Department of Health will work with a wide range of stakeholders to publish the final National Health Insurance white paper, refine the draft implementation plan, and revise cost estimates.
We will keep you updated with developments on this topic.