eHealthNews set out to make contact with all the South African political parties to procure their views and policies on implementing National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa – this is Agang SA’s reply:
“RECONCEPTUALISE THE NHI: strengthen district health systems and build a functioning primary care system by supporting the integration and capacitation of local public, private and civil society actors. To do so, we will:
Effectively integrate private actors into district health systems through the establishment of independent health teams run by private GPs and funded through health insurance. These health teams will be incentivized to follow up with patients through teams of community health workers (CHWs). For their part, CHW should be a trained registered profession and have a regular body. Include one mental health practitioner in district health specialist teams to provide support to the primary health care providers in terms of mental health.”
The above statement was copied directly from Agang SA’s manifesto; it’s clear that the party supports universal health care access through NHI, but in order for the system to work properly Agang SA believes it’s necessary to establish independent health teams funded by a health insurance.
Further information is provided on Agang SA’s official website where their full health policy is available to download. The main points include the need to increase the number of healthcare professionals, grant provincial and local institutions more authority (which goes largely against the ANC’s policy of creating a nationalised system) and to make public hospitals non-profit entities so they can enter into contracts and use the private sector to run supply chains to ensure drugs and supplies are available in South African clinics and hospitals.
Agang SA’s health policy also states that they are in favour of NHI as a financing mechanism; the provision of healthcare under NHI could be provided through a mix of public and private service providers. The party also believes that the primary care under the NHI primary care system should be driven predominantly by private GPs in charge of a multiple disciplinary team of nurses and CHWs.
Agang SA’s health policy directly mentions how the ANC’s NHI policy outlined in the Green Paper is inadequate: mental health isn’t mentioned and there’s failure to base the system off the successful UK and Brazilian healthcare platforms. The Green Paper also mentions how health care should be available only to legal South African citizens; Agang SA argues that this is unjust because in the long run it’ll be detrimental to the healthcare system in that illegals make up a large percentage of those seeking cheaper healthcare, and that not all South Africans possess an ID proving their citizenship.