Rolling out the National Health Insurance (NHI) will require an additional R33 billion annually from 2025/26, according to the revised model estimates.
However, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) states that these amounts are not budget commitments but indicative cost estimates.
The MTBPS states NHI costs were originally projected to increase public health spending from about 4% to 6% of GDP over 15 years but, 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.
National Treasury has assisted the Department of Health to develop an actuarial model with updated fiscal costs and limited policy reforms to strengthen the current healthcare system.
The MTBPS adds that, following the introduction of the NHI Bill in Parliament earlier this year, the Department of Health reprioritised funds within its 2019/20 budget to establish an NHI Office. Over the medium term, this office will receive increasing allocations for its operational costs.
The NHI policy aims to provide healthcare more equitably in South Africa.