Ten pilot projects, part of the first phase of developing the country’s National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, would seek to establish reforms in South Africa’s embattled health sector.
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) released on Tuesday pointed out that the projects aimed to tackle challenges in the heath sector, such as inadequate infrastructure, weak hospital management and a shortage of skilled health workers.
The pilot projects would be rolled out in ten different districts and would test the feasibility and scalability of proposals in the green paper, which focuses on primary health care, health promotion and preventative care.
These projects would include district-based clinical specialist support teams, school-based primary health care services, family health teams, including municipal ward-based outreach services, a new approach to human resources and general practitioner services.
The country’s quality of health services needed to be “significantly improved”, the MTBPS acknowledged.
A National Treasury spokesperson told Engineering News Online plans around Phase 1 of the NHI were still in a discussion phase, hence the roll-out and costs have not been determined.
South Africa’s health sector’s expenditure has grown in the past three years from R77.3-billion in 2008/9 to R113.2-billion in 2011/12.