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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)


National Health Insurance Policy towards Universal Health Coverage

Chapter 2 : Definition

2.3 Principles


31. NHI will be based on the following principles:
i Right to access health care


32. NHI will ensure access to health care as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, Section 27 of the Constitution
ii. Social solidarity


33. NHI will provide financial risk pooling to enable cross-subsidisation between the young and old, rich and poor as well as the healthy and the sick.
iii. Equity


34. NHI will ensure a fair and just health care system for all; those with the greatest health needs will be provided with timely access to health services.
iv. Health care as a Public Good


35. Health care shall not be treated like any other commodity of trade, but as a social investment.
v. Affordability


36. Health services will be procured at reasonable cost taking into account the need for sustainability within the context of the country's resources.
vi. Efficiency


37. Health care resources will be allocated and utilised in a manner that optimizes value for money that combines allocative and productive efficiency21 by maximising health outcome for a given cost whilst using the given resources to maximum advantage, and by maximising the welfare of the community by achieving the right mixture of healthcare programmes for the entire population.
vii. Effectiveness


38. The healthcare interventions covered under NHI will result in desired and expected outcomes in every day settings. NHI will ensure that the health system meets acceptable standards of quality and achieves positive health outcomes.
viii. Appropriateness


39. Health care services will be delivered at appropriate levels of care through innovative service delivery models and will be tailored to local needs.