How is the NHI Different from Medical Aid?

National Health Insurance (NHI)

Nobody is as yet completely sure as to how the National Health Insurance (NHI) system will work in South Africa. The rollout of a preliminary form of the NHI is a few areas in South Africa thus far seems like nothing more than an upgraded public health system. The promise of such a “true” NHI system has been circling around for well over a decade and will undoubtedly be one of the greatest post-democratic achievements if it can be implemented.

The poor may finally be able to access quality health and medical services. Public hospitals and service providers will undoubtedly have to up their game to stay competitive. And all South Africans will benefit as a health population is more productive and this has a positive effect on the economy. As the state’s overburdened and understaffed facilities cannot cope with the current health needs of the population, there is concern whether the NHI will really be able to fill in the gaps.


National Health Insurance (NHI) and Private Medical Aid

The National Health Insurance (NHI) system holds much promise for South Africans. As cash strapped citizens look forward to the possibility of accessing private healthcare services in South Africa, the question that is often raised is “will medical be necessary?”. The reality is that even South African medical aid members are looking for some reprieve as medical aid contributions rise each year while benefits appear to dwindle. But there are many considerations before one gives up the protection of medical aid to depend on the National Health Insurance.

Despite all these benefits and advantages of both a South African NHI there are also the cons. The NHI is a very ambitious project by any measure and with over 15 million South Africans already on government welfare of some sort, is there the funds to make the NHI a reality?