eHealthNews set out to make contact with all the South African political parties to procure their views and policies on implementing a National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa – this is the African Christian Democratic Party’s (ACDP) reply from Cheryllyn Dudley, an ACDP member of parliament since 1999:

“The ACDP supports the introduction of NHI and is committed to increasing public spending to improve the quality of the public health care system and to the Abuja target of spending in health being 15% of the national budget.

Cheryllyn Dudley - EHN

Cheryllyn Dudley

Our party supports the reasonable regulation by law of medicines prices and of private health facilities and services – with the emphasis on reasonable, ensuring the maximum possible voluntary involvement of private health in the National Health of the country through NHI.

International experience on defining packages of services has been studied and a starting point for South Africa is ensuring that a list of non-negotiable services are adequately budgeted for and provided in all districts.

Global experience also shows the importance of primary healthcare (PHC) being at the centre of service delivery, promoting good health, preventing illness, and acting as the first point of contact for most health care.

Of course, technology will play a major role in improving delivery of services. It will be costly but an effective information system is non-negotiable. Considerable efforts are required to improve the quality, coverage and standardisation of information across the public and private systems. Patient records in both primary and hospital-based care need much more work.

According to the ACDP’s manifesto, primary healthcare and a preventative approach should be the cornerstones of health policy. The party is for NHI and believes that the scheme should be implemented in a phased manner to broaden access to health services and improve the quality of care in public hospitals and clinics. This would entail providing additional incentives for doctors working in the private sector to render sessional services in the public sector. ACDP also believes in filling vacant posts with skilled, competent and committed medical practitioners and mangers, with certification for hospital managers.

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