Sunday, 14 July, 2024
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Crisp says Health budget has to be bigger if NHI goals are to become a reality

In a Q&A with the Sunday Times’ Chris Barron, Dr Nicholas Crisp, Acting Deputy Director-General of the National Health Insurance (NHI), said that while the present Health budget was badly managed and that need to be improved, “we’d like to see more spent on health”.

Crisp said that the NIHI budget would be 8.5% of GDP but taxpayers would not have to pay out anything the short term because it “will be a long time before we start to shift the flows from the private sector”.

When asked if, instead of the NHI, the focus should rather be on effectively using the existing health budget, Crisp replied:“It’s not an either/or. Sixty-seven percent of all the specialists in the country are in the private sector. How do we access those skills? They do amazing stuff but they’re not accessible to the people who get their services in the public sector.”

A more conducive working environment in state hospitals was not possible, with present budgets. Nor was it simply a matter of the theft or mismanagement of resources: “The private sector reports R11bn a year stolen [annually].”

Crisp predicted that in 10 or 15 years’ time, there would be the equivalent of around R400bn in today’s rands in the NHI Fund.

“You have to start somewhere, you have to create a framework. If the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) can do its bit, I can do my bit to design a system that will recognise and design out risk as far as possible.”


Sunday Times article – Q&A with acting health DG Dr Nicholas Crisp on the cost of NHI (Restricted access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Crisp: Payroll tax, surcharges on personal income tax to fund NHI


Solidarity: Judgment reserved in application to have NHI ‘certificate of need’ declared invalid


Health committee’s new chair says technology will thwart NHI corruption


IRR submission on NHI Bill: ‘Blatant elite enrichment’


SAMA's warnings on NHI Bill met with hostility



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