Implementation of a social health insurance scheme in South Africa.
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The Department of Health (DOH) has embarked on a noble initiative to address the disproportionate distribution of resources and spending within the public and private healthcare sectors. Social Health Insurance (SHI) has thus been mooted as the vehicle to obtain a more equitable healthcare dispensation. This thesis explores the state of preparedness of the DOH, for the implementation of SHI. Ten aspects of health have been identified which will assist in determining if sufficient reforms have been implemented to facilitate the successful implementation of SHI. The prospective mechanism of financing of SHI is compared to the highly acclaimed model employed by the Australian Department of Health. Two research methodologies have been utilized viz. the case study approach and semi structured interviews, to provide comprehensive data. This enabled the researcher to adequately answer the research question. The responses from the respondents on the 10 aspects of healthcare have been arranged into themes to facilitate a greater understanding of the issues being highlighted. Established strategic management instruments have been utilized to analyze the data obtained and evaluate the preparedness of the DOH for the implementation of SHI. Following the data analysis, recommendations are proposed that would facilitate the successful implementation of SHI, thereby promoting its viability and sustainability in providing quality healthcare to all who call South Africa home.