Perspectives and experiences of healthcare workers on the National Health Insurance at tertiary hospitals in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

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Sam Mndzebele
Makwena Matsi


The World Health Organisation member countries are mandated to invest towards achieving universal health coverage to promote access to health care. South Africa endorsed the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme as a mechanism to achieve this major goal. Healthcare workers are responsible for the implementation of the NHI, it is imperative to hear their input. Hence the purpose of the study was to describe the Perspectives and experiences of health care workers with regard to the roll-out of the NHI at Pietersburg-Mankweng tertiary hospitals, Limpopo Province. This was a cross sectional descriptive quantitative study. Self-administered questionnaires were issued out to 255 healthcare workers. The healthcare workers were sampled using proportionate stratified random sampling technique. All statistical tests were conducted and based on a p-value < 0.05, and considered statistically significant. The results show that a greater proportion (64%) of the respondents had knowledge of what the NHI is about, and of these only 37% have detailed information on its implementation; while 39% indicated their preparedness for its implementation. Participants’ response regarding the perceived challenges during the implementation of the NHI indicates that the most common challenges were administrative issues (30%), funding (21%) and personnel (11%). In relation health services delivery building blocks linked to the NHI, about 56% of the participants indicated that the health care services were accessible; while about 60% reported that their institutions do adhere to the required waiting time. The findings in this study provides some insight on   whether South Africa will achieve universal coverage based on healthcare workers perspectives and experiences on the NHI scheme. Therefore it is important that healthcare workers are educated and engaged to ensure that the ideal of achieving universal health coverage through the NHI is realised.

Key words: Universal health coverage, National health Insurance, healthcare workers

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Author Biographies

Sam Mndzebele, SMU

Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health (Dept of Health Systems Management & Policy). Research areas: Healthcare systems, Health management, Health policy, Oral healthcare, Teaching & learning.

Makwena Matsi

MPH, Bcur I et Al (Nursing), Diploma in M&S Nursing, Operating Theatre course, Diploma in General Nursing