​Since the inception of democracy, government has made significant inroads into correcting the imbalances of the past in line with advancing the principles set out in the Constitution. Even though many areas have been transformed, much more still needs to be done in the important area of healthcare.


In addressing the imbalances in the health sector, government plans to introduce the National Health Insurance (NHI). The NHI is a health financing system that will bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in accessing health facilities. It will provide access to quality health services for all South Africans based on their health needs irrespective of their socio-economic status.


The NHI is consistent with the Constitution and will serve as a tool that will ensure everyone have access to quality healthcare. The NHI will offer all South Africans and permanent residents access to comprehensive personal health benefits provided at both public and private health facilities.


The NHI is based on the following principles or values:

  • Constitutional right to access healthcare (UHC);
  • Affordability;
  • Appropriateness;
  • Equity;
  • Healthcare as a public good;
  • Effectiveness;
  • Efficiency; and
  • Social solidarity.


It is the responsibility of every South African to ensure that the NHI principles are achieved in order to build a quality healthcare system. The important shift through the implementation of NHI will forever change the country's health system and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.




NHI will ensure inclusive quality healthcare for everyone.

  • South Africa is moving to a healthcare system where affordable and quality medical services will be provided to every person irrespective of their socio-economic status.
  • It requires a complete overhaul and reorganisation of the current system which has been distorted by the high cost of private healthcare.
  • The introduction of the NHI will change the way the country pays for healthcare so that all South Africans can have access to quality and affordable care.
  • The NHI will take us closer to realise our Constitutional imperative where everyone has the right to have access to healthcare services.


NHI offers economic and social benefits to all South Africans.

  • NHI will contribute to the reduction in healthcare costs that are currently making the health sector unsustainable.
  • The single-payer NHI system will improve the spread of resources for health across socio-economic groups.
  • It will contribute to achieving better health outcomes at reasonable costs when compared to the current two-tiered multi-payer system.
  • NHI will also contribute to improve health outcomes, labour productivity and inclusive economic growth and development.


NHI aims to converge private and public healthcare to better serve the public.

  • The NHI is intended to ensure that all South Africans have access to the best available healthcare.
  • The collaborative effort of government and private healthcare providers will give the country the capacity to implement the NHI.
  • The intention of NHI is to ensure citizens are able to use both the public and private sectors that are within their reach.
  • The NHI will bring more skilled professionals together in delivering health services through both public and private facilities.


Government is moving swiftly to implement the NHI.

  • Government is putting forward the National Health Insurance Bill which is a critical instrument to achieve universal healthcare.
  • The success of the NHI is dependent on all South Africans working together to ensure its successful implementation.
  • The implementation of the NHI is not a once-off event but will take place in a phased approach over the long term.
  • NHI will serve as a social safety net that will provide social protection to all South Africans especially to those with the greatest need.


NHI is submitted to the Legislative process for further processing

  • Cabinet has approved the submission of the NHI Bill to Parliament for further processing;
  • The NHI is a section 76 Bill which means it will go through both the National Assembly and the NCOP process.
  • Through parliamentary process the public consultation, will get another opportunity to further input before the Bill is passed into law.
  • South Africans are urged to participate in this process to ensure a fully consulted bill that will go a long way in changing the way government provides healthcare services to all South Africans.