Budget 2024: NHI receives R1.4 billion allocation

Godongwana said during his Budget Speech that there are several tasks that need to be completed before the NHI can be rolled out.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said R1.4 billion has been allocated to the National Health Insurance (NHI) as a demonstration of government’s commitment to the policy.

He announced this during the 2024 Budget Speech delivered on Wednesday in Cape Town.

“Health is allocated a total of R848 billion over the medium term expenditure framework. These allocations include R11.6 billion to address the 2023 wage agreement, R27.3 billion for infrastructure, and R1.4 billion for the NHI grant over the same period,” he said.

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Public healthcare

Minister Godongwana said that there are still several tasks that need to be completed to strengthen the public healthcare system.

He said that these are vital for making sure that the system works better and provides improved healthcare services to all South Africans.

Such tasks include:

  • building a national health information system and digital patient records;
  • upgrading health facilities and improving quality of care to ensure that they meet the minimum criteria to be certified and accredited for contracting under NHI;
  • strengthening facility and district management in preparation for contracting;
  • granting semi-autonomous status for central (and potentially other) hospitals; and
  • developing reference prices and provider payment methods for hospitals.

“Many of these activities are already underway but require further development before the NHI can be rolled out at scale,” he said.

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Sign it in

During the State of the Nations address delivered earlier this month, Ramaphosa said he was in support of the NHI, jokingly stating that he was looking for a pen [to sign it in].

The NHI seeks to offer universal healthcare to every citizen of South Africa.

While it has gathered praise from certain quarters, others have raised concerns, arguing that it could lead to the collapse of the private healthcare sector and a deterioration in overall healthcare services within the nation.

The bill successfully cleared the National Council of Provinces towards the end of the previous year and is currently awaiting the president’s signature to formalise its enactment into law.

Additional reporting by Kyle Zeeman