UPDATE 2-South Africa to roll out sweeping health reform in stages


- finance.yahoo.com | a month ago

* Universal health coverage a signature ANC policy* Opposition and some analysts say it is unaffordable* Officials say rollout to depend on fiscal room* Full implementation probably many years away (Adds detail, context)By Alexander WinningPRETORIA, Aug 23 (Reuters) - A proposed move to universal health coverage in South Africa will be rolled out in stages as the budget improves, a senior presidential aide told Reuters, forecasting the landmark reform would cost $2.

2 billion per year by 2025/26. The National Health Insurance (NHI) programme, to be debated in parliament soon, is a flagship policy of the governing African National Congress, which has wanted to overhaul the crisis-ridden health system since it swept to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994.

More than two decades after the end of white minority rule, a privileged few receive world-class care in private hospitals while many poor black people in a population of near 60 million queue at understaffed state facilities short of equipment.

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