During last night’s State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the government’s efforts to improve South Africa’s health service. He started by saying that the government has built more hospitals and clinics, especially in poor areas, and provided better quality care to more South Africans. 

In the future, the President said, the National Health Insurance (NHI) will provide free healthcare at the point of care for all South Africans, whether in public or private health facilities. “We plan to incrementally implement the NHI, dealing with issues like health system financing, the health workforce, medical products, vaccines and technologies, and health information systems,” he explained.

He said 95 percent of people diagnosed with HIV know their status and 79% of those receive antiretroviral treatment, while 93 percent of them are virally suppressed. Meanwhile, new HIV infections among young people have declined significantly.

However, while the health system has had a great impact on people’s lives, the President said, “We are working to improve both the quality of healthcare and equality of access.” 

Mava Lukani
9 February 2024