‘If in place’ for NGV


It appears as if the intended National Health Insurance (NHI) has no longer stopped and the introduction of this law may start this year.

Dr. During his debate speech on Tuesday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla thanked parliament for approving the NGV bill. “It will be implemented in two remaining phases, from 2024 to 2026 and then from 2026 to 2028.”

According to him, the focus is currently on the establishment of NGV institutions and structures, such as the board and chief executive, as well as several key committees of the NGV fund. “At the same time, the strengthening of the service delivery platform for health will be accelerated.”

According to Phaahla, the health sector is “well on the road to recovery” after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our main goal now is to lay the foundation for universal health coverage, for which provision has been made in article 27 of the Constitution.”

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa also said in his state of the nation speech on Thursday evening that the NHI bill is currently on his desk and that he is just “looking for a pen to sign it”. According to the president, the NGV will provide free health care in public and private health facilities for all South Africans.

According to Phaahla, the NGV will have many benefits for South Africans. According to the minister, the system will, among other things, create work for new doctors who have finished their studies.

He specifically referred to progress made in the training of doctors. The Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro program in Cuba in particular has been stepped up to produce more graduates for the NGV, according to Phaahla.

“The graduates have almost doubled over the past 10 years. In 2014, 1,338 graduates started their internship, while 2,511 started working in 2022. This year, 2,210 students are in their final year of medical studies.”

The government does not seem to have room for all these new doctors at the moment. RNews earlier reported that around 800 newly graduated doctors are still waiting to be placed in a public hospital by the department, a problem that occurs every year.

Phaahla also responded to criticism from speakers during the debate and said that the NGV will not become a “state enterprise like Eskom”.