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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.

HomeSpecial ReportsNational Health Insurance Starry nights over city lights: Why this doctor wants to work...

[WATCH] Starry nights over city lights: Why this doctor wants to work in rural KZN for good 


  • Doctor Thulani Ngwenya has no plans to leave his job at Bethesda Hospital near Ubombo in rural KwaZulu-Natal for a post in a city. Ngwenya grew up near the facility and he’s determined to serve his community for as long as possible. 
  • As long as he’s around, Ngwenya argues, patients can get healthcare in a language that they understand. 
  • The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation, which offers financial support and mentorship, helps to produce health workers for the country’s underserved far-flung areas. Ngwenya is one of about 500 health science graduates that the nonprofit has helped since 1999. Get to know this rural doctor better with our reporter Dylan Bush.

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Dylan Bush is Bhekisisa's production and multimedia manager.