Financing South Africa's national health system through national health insurance: possibilities and challenges: colloquium proceedings
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The provision of universal access to healthcare, a right enshrined in the South African Constitution, is the responsibility of government. Although much progress has been made towards the creation of a national health system which makes 'access to health for all' a reality, much remains to be done.
As a means to facilitate debate on the subject, the Policy Analysis Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council, hosted a colloquium on 'Health within a comprehensive system of social security', under the auspices of the South African National Liaison Committee of Unesco's Management of Social Transformation Programme. The main purpose of the colloquium was to initiate policy dialogue and critical discussion on how health services are accessed, provided and funded - and to formulate ideas, views and recommendations that could be presented to those involved in health policy development. This book contains the keynote addresses and a summary of deliberations emerging from the colloquium.
Section A of the book contains the opening address by Dr Olive Shisana, President and CEO of the HSRC, and the keynote address by the Minister of Health, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, followed by a discussion of the context for policy debates on health within a comprehensive system of social security. Section B provides a synthesis of the colloquium proceedings, beginning with a brief summary of inputs and discussions under the four key themes: the reform path since 1994; critical options for health within the context of a comprehensive system of social security; local and international evidence on health system models; health systems reform and stakeholder engagement. The section concludes with a brief outline of key issues discussed in the areas of healthcare provision, healthcare funding and the purchasing of healthcare. Section C provides recommendations for improving implementation, and taking the process of policy development forward.