Health minister’s audit to usher in new NHI pilot era

An audit of health facilities is well under way ahead of a plan to start National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot sites, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday.

He said the department was auditing infrastructure, financial management structures and was doing a head count of health workers in every facility.

“We are still doing this audit on health facilities,” Motsoaledi told reporters in Cape Town.

“We are even auditing the headcount of health workers in every health facility.”

Motsoaledi was speaking after receiving a report on health data from the Health Data Advisory and Coordination Committee (HDACC).

He said at the last count, about 2 800 institutions out of 4 200 public health institutions had been audited.

Motsoaledi said the department did not roll out NHI in only poor settings or in very rich settings and “made wrong conclusions” about the NHI.

“We want a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly so that at the end we are able to confirm,” he said.

Pilot projects
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said about R500-million is expected to be set aside in the 2012 budget to fund pilot sites for the NHI.

Gordhan said the pilots would form the first part of a 14-year programme to introduce the NHI system.


Part of the first phase also involved revitalising hospitals, improving nursing and getting the public health system to provide a more caring environment.

At Thursday’s briefing, HDACC deputy chairperson Debbie Bradshaw told Motsoaledi the proportion of HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy was at 22% and had to be increased.

“We would like that increased to 80% of women on treatment,” Bradshaw said.

Bradhsaw recommended that HIV monitoring focus on women between 15 and 49-years-old, using data from the department’s antenatal survey.

The mother-to-child transmission rate also a key indicator that has to be targeted in the HIV and Aids epidemic, she said.

A report by the committee says the total number of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2009 was 1.1 million. The target for 2014 was 2.5 million.

The HDACC was appointed by the department last year to improve the accuracy of health data. — Sapa

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