Some residents in rural towns in Mpumalanga have to chose between buying food or going to the doctor.
Poor management and leadership instability lead to R2-billion in irregular expenditure.
Although the scheme's white paper was released at an economically uncertain time, it brings possibilities to those in need.
Readers write in about the NHI, the Constitution and social cohesion.
Efficient management is key to a functioning health insurance plan
But the Free Market Foundation maintains the plan will cost the state more than it raises in taxes.
The government has set several commendable goals but will have to improve its delivery.
The health scheme is scheduled to be functioning by 2025 but the precise costs are still not known.
Pressing financial challenges that have befuddled previous ministers include health insurance, free education and the nuclear deal with Russia.
SA is working towards reducing the high cost of private healthcare and ensuring public healthcare is of quality. But it won't happen overnight.
A centre employing only men has opened in Khayelitsha to address the needs of males uneasy about being seen at mixed-gender facilities.
Doctors say Dihlabeng hospital doesn't have the medicine and staff to help patients.
The Constitution doesn't allow Motsoaledi to give health MECs direct instructions, but his "political influence" would help a great deal.
President Jacob Zuma has reiterated government's commitment to get the National Health Service into operation - despite drawing criticism in the past.
The Rural Health Advocacy Project says the budget was "disappointing" as it does not make provision for improvements in healthcare service delivery.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has left serious questions about the National Health Insurance scheme unanswered, writes Chris Archer.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi describes Dr Chris Archer's criticism of the national health insurance as ignorant at best.
Minister, please sit down with the private health sector before the NHI has us paying more but getting less, writes Dr Chris Archer.