healthcareFin24 reports that according to the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), shrinking growth and a widening budget deficit were impacting the affordability of National Health Insurance (NHI).  

The policy statement was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday.  Although the minister did not speak in detail on the NHI Bill, which is now before Parliament for consideration, he said that Treasury and the Department of Health were engaged in ongoing discussions.  NHI is the government's plan to provide universal healthcare access to all South Africans and is expected to be rolled out by 2026 at an estimated cost of R256bn.  The adjusted estimates of national expenditure document, which outlines the status of each government department in relation to the MTBPS, noted that the original NHI costs were projected to increase public health spending from 4% to 6% of GDP over 15 years.  "However, given the macroeconomic and fiscal outlook, the estimates to roll out NHI that were published in the NHI Green Paper in 2011 and White Paper in 2017 are no longer affordable," the statement reads.


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