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National Health Insurance

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The National Health Insurance (NHI), for which membership will be compulsory, is a funding scheme that aims to address healthcare inequity in South Africa. The scheme will do this by creating a fund that the government will use to buy healthcare services at set fees from accredited public and private health providers. The NHI has not yet been legislated — the health department is hoping to have the NHI Bill approved by parliament by the end of 2022.

HomeBhekisisa TVHealth Beat #4 | Can the NHI fix SA’s rural doctor dilemma?

Health Beat #4 | Can the NHI fix SA’s rural doctor dilemma?


  • There aren’t enough doctors working in South Africa’s rural areas. To fix this, the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation has trained hundreds of health workers, the majority of whom end up working in the country’s far-flung areas. 
  • Now, the project’s success is being undermined by hiring freezes as provincial health departments battle to balance a shrinking public purse and increasing salaries. 
  • In the fourth episode of Health Beat, our Mia Malan asks the head of the National Health Insurance, Nicholas Crisp, whether the scheme could solve the problem.

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Dylan Bush is Bhekisisa's production and multimedia manager.

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As an SABC TV reporter in the Mandela years, Jessica Pitchford covered news events during one of the most exciting periods of South Africa’s history. She’s worked as a documentary producer for Special Assignment, story editor for current affairs shows Carte Blanche & Checkpoint, as head researcher for Netflix production ‘Senzo’  and has written five non-fiction books.

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Yolanda Mdzeke is a multimedia reporter at Bhekisisa.

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Mohale Moloi is Bhekisisa's television producer and a health journalist.

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Ntuthuko “Lolly” Gumbi-Fakude is a freelance video editor. She has almost 20 years experience in the news and broadcast media industry on projects like the coronation of King Misuzulu Zulu.

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Mia Malan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa. She has worked in newsrooms in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington, DC, winning more than 30 awards for her radio, print and television work.