Health tax to fund NHI – Minister

August 11, 2011

A policy document from the Department of Health – which has been rejected twice already over questions about its affordability – will, if accepted, be unveiled tomorrow, it says. On the question of funding, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the document included a possible health tax.

‘I don’t see any other way in which government systems can be financed. No person can opt out of NHI’. Although Motsoaledi was reluctant to put a price tag on the scheme, economists, who have been critical of it, have estimated the cost at 28% of total government spending.

A discussion document on the NHI by the ANC put the cost at R376bn in 2010 financial terms if phased in over 14 years. Other details expected tomorrow include what the NHI hopes to achieve and ‘how will it affect the healthcare system in the country and how it will affect individuals and households,’ Motsoaledi said.

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