The NHI is a fund to pay for the healthcare of everyone in South Africa.

Core content messages

‒ The NHI is a fund to pay for the healthcare of everyone in South Africa. All of us will contribute to this fund – through taxes and/or special contributions – in line with what we can afford.

‒ Everyone will be entitled to free healthcare when they need it. There will be no fees charged at the facility because the fund will cover the costs of your care.

‒ The NHI will enter into contracts with private and public hospitals, as well as private health practitioners and public clinics, to provide services. You will be able to choose any NHI-contracted provider in your neighbourhood for your regular health needs.

‒ The NHI will be run as a non-profit public entity. It will strengthen the hand of the healthcare consumer and keep the cost of delivering healthcare reasonable while ensuring that healthcare providers receive a fair rate for their services.

Messages on core concerns

‒ Public and private health facilities as well as private GP and specialist practices will continue to operate under NHI. The fund will contract with both public and private service providers.

‒ A huge effort will be made to upgrade government clinics and hospitals in preparation for NHI. Health facilities in the public and private sectors will only be part of the NHI system if they meet certain standards of care and are accredited by an independent body called the Office of Health Standards Compliance.

‒ Individuals will be free to continue their medical scheme membership for health services that are not covered by the Fund. But they will not be able to opt out from making contributions to the NHI.

‒ NHI will be phased in over a period of several years, in order to ensure it is well resourced and well managed.

Core value messages

‒ Every individual has a right to receive essential healthcare of good quality regardless of his or her ability to pay for care.

‒ Nobody should die or suffer unnecessarily because of lack of access to healthcare or experience financial ruin because of the cost of healthcare.

‒ Our country’s health resources – our hospitals and clinics, our doctors, nurses and specialists – should be shared on a need basis among all our people.

‒ Reducing poverty and inequality is a matter of the highest importance. We should all play a part, according to our ability, and NHI is an opportunity to do so.

Core action messages 

Key message: Equal Access to quality and affordable health to all

•            Government is committed to achieve universal access to quality health care services to all in the Republic in accordance with section 27 of the Constitution and Universal Health Coverage

•            Equal access means all people should receive the same health serves for same health conditions irrespective of their socioeconomic status and geographical location

•            The National Vaccination Programme has proven how the NHI will work to ensure equity in healthcare service

•            Currently the private sector is better funded and subsidised but serves 16% of the population than the poorly funded public sector, which is used by the majority of the population (84% of the population).

•            Universal Health Coverage is about the right to health. Everyone- rich or poor should get the health care they need without suffering financial hardship.

Key message: Significance of passing of the Bill by National Assembly

•            Government considers the passing of the NHI Bill by the NA as a key milestone to ensure all people in SA have access to the same clinic or hospital, (public or private) closer to where they live or work without paying – government will pay.

•            Government recognises the efforts by all stakeholders which exercised their constitutional rights to participate in legislative processes to influence decision-making process the NHI Bill.

•            The Department will remain available and access at all times to clarify any ambiguities and public concerns about the Bill and its objectives.

Key message: General public

•            The country spends huge amounts of money for health care on very few people.

•            Many doctors and specialists only serve a few people who have money and the rest of the public is serviced by very few professionals.

•            This National Health Insurance will cover every South African, employed or unemployed, poor or rich, rural or urban, without paying just like during vaccination against COVID-19

•            The status people will not influence the type of healthcare they receive, but the health conditions will be determine the health service they deserve – meaning same disease, same healthcare, same place

Key message: General public

•            There will be no limited benefits because of the salary you earn or because you are unemployed

•            The NHI will ensure that no one is chased away because his/her benefits and funds are exhausted

•            Under NHI, private healthcare providers will no longer be allowed to charge you additional fees called co-payment after NHI has paid them

•            No one may be refused emergency medical treatment because of their affordability

•            Planned patient transportation will be provided free  of charge when you are referred to higher level specialist services because there are no specialist care facilities in your particular locality

Questions for patients

•            What is the NHI and how will it change the system?

•            The NHI is a fund from which the government will buy health care services for South Africans from health care providers in the public sector and private sector.

•            This means when you feel unwell, you can go to your nearest GP or clinic of your choice that has a contract with NHI and not worry about the cost of care.

Questions for patients

•            How much will it cost to receive services at a clinic, GP or hospital?

•            The services are FREE.

•            This is to make sure that everyone is able to receive health care services when they are sick, at a facility close to them (as long as the facility has a contract with the NHI Fund).

Questions for patients

•            How can I register and what do I need for registration?

•            You will register when you go to a clinic, GP or hospital for the first time.

•            You will need your ID book or passport to register. Your fingerprints will be taken and put on the system. This will make it easy when you visit the clinic or GP when your ID is lost. The use of fingerprints will be a way to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Questions of patients

•            What if I want to contribute to a medical scheme?

•            Once implemented, medical aid schemes won’t be able to offer any health services already offered by the NHI.

•            Medical schemes will only offer you extra services not covered by the NHI

•            The NHI will offer comprehensive health care service cover – there will be no co-payments

•            Medical Aid schemes will remain voluntary arrangement for those who choose to contribute to them

Questions for patients

•            How will corruption be prevented?

•            The Fund will have a Board that will have the responsibility of making sure that there are systems that prevent and investigate corruption.

•            The Fund has units that focus on fraud prevention and investigation of fraud and corruption.

•            The public will have opportunity to anonymously report corrupt activities to law enforcement agencies and Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum (HSACF) which has been established by the President

Health care provider questions

•            What role does private sector play in the NHI?

•            Private health care providers will continue to operate under the NHI dispensation, contrary to popular belief that NHI is not going to abolish or do away with private health providers

•            NHI will not allow them to charge the exorbitant fees they are charging today, especially the private hospitals

•            Private hospitals and General Practitioners will see more patients and government will settle the bill at an agreed rate

•            The private health sector providers will benefit from the opportunity to contract with NHI to provide health services to the broader public, rather than the small proportion for which they currently provide services. They will be able to provide services to patients throughout the year not worried about depletion of funds of patients at any stage.

Health care provider questions

•            How can I qualify to be an accredited provider under the NHI?

•            Every provider must be certified by the Office of Health Standards and Compliance. The tool for health care providers is being developed.

•            The provider must also agree and comply with the requirements of the NHI Fund to be accredited with the Fund

•            The provider will be assigned a size of a population that will be under its care but will be paid on a capitation basis.