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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.

HomeSpecial ReportsNational Health Insurance What makes a good doctor? Why school marks aren’t everything

[WATCH] What makes a good doctor? Why school marks aren’t everything


  • Students with better matric marks are more likely to do well in the theoretical part of medical school, but not necessarily the practical side (when they treat patients). 
  • English and Afrikaans speaking doctors often struggle to communicate with black patients who don’t speak these languages, which can make it harder for them to provide quality care. 
  • Research from the US shows that black doctors are often more successful at treating black patients than white doctors.

A doctor’s race and the language they speak can play a role in the kind of care they provide – depending on their patient’s race and language.

  • Read the full script here.
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Dylan Bush is Bhekisisa's production and multimedia manager.

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Jesse Copelyn is a health journalist at Bhekisisa.