“The ANC’s  plan for achieving universal health coverage is unlikely to require significant funding any time soon,” reported Business Day (12 Nov 2021)  after Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in parliament.

According to Treasury’s acting head of the budget office, Edgar Sishi, the existing provisions for NHI, including the conditional grant, have not been spent, and it is unlikely that will change because it requires some fairly significant institutional arrangements to occur in the health sector, and that is nowhere near happening at this point.

Although key legislation was submitted to Parliament more than two years ago, the NHI Bill is still being considered by the portfolio committee on health, and the government has yet to publish up to date costing estimates for the programme.

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