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 Congress of the People’s (COPE) reply:

“COPE supports the implementation of universal healthcare in South Africa. We also believe that we should pay special attention to the improvement in the quality and affordability of healthcare taking into account the disparity in the provision of healthcare services between rural and urban areas, the rich and the poor and between the private and public sector.”

The above statement is supported by COPE’s official website under the Objective section where it states that the party aims to improve healthcare to ensure it is professionally administered. This indicates that the party believes in NHI that is governmentally run to ensure efficiency.

COPE’s constitution further states the party’s intention of improving and protecting people’s health through appropriate measures, including staffing, medication and the provision of adequate protection from and treatment for all infectious diseases – including HIV and AIDS.

COPE’s 2014 Manifesto includes a section dedicated to universal healthcare that outlines examples of how the party intends to improve healthcare: implement automated queuing systems in all health centres to prevent long lines, improve preventative healthcare and to take into account home-based givers when developing the healthcare budget. Further emphasis is given on how hospitals should consider ordering medicine directly from suppliers to save money, government clinics should be open 24 hours a day to help the community and professional managers should be appointed to run healthcare facilities. COPE also believes that traditional health practitioners should be taken into consideration when drawing up health policies and plans.

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