Chairpersons for all branches, branch members, treatment literacy advocates and community health workers all gathered at the TAC Khayelitsha office on Friday, October 28 in order to hold a consultation about the Government of South Africa’s ‘Green Paper’ on National Health Insurance (NHI). The group was presented with the details of the Green Paper, and discussed possible challenges that might arise in its implementation. Some TAC members were particularly skeptical about the NHI implementation because it placed a heavy burden on the capacity of the public health care system. Others worried that the implementation of the NHI would mean many doctors, nurses and other health personnel would leave the country due to lost revenues. Other TAC members expressed doubts that the government would be able to manage such a large influx of money into the National Health Insurance Fund without corruption. All in all, TAC members were excited about the opportunity presented by the NHI to revolutionize health care in South Africa, while remaining cautious about the specifics. Everyone agreed that the next iteration of the NHI would have to be more explicit about what services were covered by the ‘comprehensive package’ in the NHI. Services for PLWHA are, of course, a top priority.
Further consultations about the NHI are planned for the coming weeks.