Is the National Health Insurance (NHI) the right cure for SA’s healthcare system?

South Africa continues to invest substantial resources into its healthcare services, and health remains a key priority with 12.3% of current government expenditure allocated to healthcare specifically. Since 1994, the investment into South Africa’s healthcare services has yielded significant results.

However, funding of the public health system which provides healthcare services to the majority of South Africans has witnessed a progressive decline, while the private sector has been plagued with immense price increases, with medical aid schemes becoming largely unaffordable to many South Africans.

From this, it is clear that reform is undoubtedly needed. The question is whether the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) will be the best remedy for South Africa’s healthcare system?

Insight Survey’s latest SA Healthcare Industry Landscape Report 2018 carefully unfolds the healthcare landscape in South Africa based on the latest information and research.  It deliberates the global and local burden of disease, analyses the SA Healthcare Policy, and provides the latest statistics on healthcare practitioners, hospitals and clinics, medical aids and pharmaceutical services.

In South Africa, mortality rates have shown a decline over the years. In 2016, the number of deaths recorded totaled 456,612 (compared to just under a million births), representing a 3.5% decline in deaths processed between 2016 and 2015 (473,266). Similar to global disease trends, noncommunicable diseases were responsible for the majority of deaths (57% in 2016), an increase from 43% in 2005, as per the graph below.

However, in contrast to the global situation, tuberculosis, a communicable disease, continued to be the leading cause of death in South Africa in 2016, accounting for 6.5% (29,513) of deaths in the specific year, as per the graph below. This was followed by diabetes mellitus with 5.5% (or 25,255), cerebrovascular diseases (or 23,137) and other forms of heart disease (23,515), both at 5.1% – all noncommunicable diseases.

The National Health Insurance Programme has been allocated an additional R4.2 billion. The Health Department plans to focus on implementing the second phase of the NHI. Over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), this will include expanding the HIV/AIDS and TB treatment and prevention programmes, renewing public healthcare facilities and ensuring that specialised tertiary health services are accessible to all South Africans.

Furthermore, the National Health Insurance Bill (along with the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill) was released for public comment in June 2018, as the government moves ahead to ensure the implementation of national health insurance, curb private care costs, and ultimately relieve the pressure on a crumbling public healthcare system.

The bill proposes the establishment of a publicly financed and administered national health insurance fund that will provide access to quality and affordable health services to all South Africans based on their health needs irrespective of their socio-economic status. Currently, the bill provides little clarity on how the system will be funded, except to indicate that taxpayers will be required to make compulsory contributions to the fund. Furthermore, when the system will come into effect remains unknown, however, targeted implementation is set for 2025.

The SA Healthcare Industry Landscape Report 2018 (123 pages) provides a dynamic synthesis of industry research, examining South African Population Demographics, Global and SA Burden of Disease, Healthcare Policy (NDP 2030, Strategic Plan 2017-2022, NHI as per the National Health Insurance Bill), Healthcare Practitioner Stats, Hospitals and Clinics, Medical Aids, and the Pharmaceutical Services Sector.

Some Key Questions The Report Will Help You To Answer:

  • What is the global and South African burden of disease statistics?
  • What does the SA Healthcare Policy entail, including the Medium-term Strategic Framework 2014-2019, the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STI’s and TB, and National Health Insurance?
  • What are the latest 2018 healthcare practitioner, hospital and clinics stats?
  • What are the characteristics of the South African medical aid landscape, including trends and details of medical aid beneficiaries, medical aid schemes, administrators, major company profiles, and benefits paid by medical aids?
  • What are the key characteristics of the South African pharmaceutical services?

Please note that the 123-page PowerPoint report is available for purchase for R25,000 (excluding VAT). Alternatively, individual sections can be purchased for R9,000 (excluding VAT). For additional information simply contact us at or directly on (021) 045-0202 or (010) 140- 5756.

For a full brochure please go to: South African Healthcare Landscape Brochure 2018

About Insight Survey:

Insight Survey is a South African B2B market research company with more than 10 years of heritage, focusing on business-to business (B2B) market research to ensure smarter, more-profitable business decisions are made with reduced investment risk.

We offer B2B market research solutions to help you to successfully improve or expand your business, enter new markets, launch new products or better understand your internal or external environment.

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