The goals, timing and criticisms of the NHI Act

On 15 May 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Health Insurance Bill into
law. The National Health Insurance Act 20 of 2023 (NHI Act) marks a pivotal moment in South
Africa’s healthcare landscape
Although the NHI Act aims to provide comprehensive health coverage, it has ignited significant
debate and controversy, especially concerning its funding and its effect on existing healthcare
structures. Wrought with politics and policy, the NHI Act has simultaneously prompted
celebration and hope, as well as condemnation and looming litigation. Although scant on
details, this controversial legislation is complex to unpack.

In its key National Health Insurance (NHI) message the Department of Health (DoH) said:

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