Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has completed a three-day visit to the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot project in Pixley ka-Seme district, where he met stakeholders and checked preparations for the rollout of NHI in the area.
He was accompanied by health MEC Mxolisi Sokatsha. Provincial health spokesperson Andrid Scholtz confirmed Motsoaledi's visit was to assess the "progress made so far".
"He was evaluating the readiness of facilities and challenges being faced as well as ensuring the National Health Insurance pilot district is on par in terms of planning and implementation of the project," he said.
Scholtz said that the most important part of Motsoaledi's visit was his engagement with strategic stakeholders, partners and structure.
"His mission was to inform the stakeholders on the NHI process, the pilot district implementation process, their respective roles, responsibilities and assistance in the process and also to have question and answer opportunities," said Scholtz.
"The engagement with the different stakeholders gave the opportunity for one on one interaction with the national minister through the whole NHI process."
Pixley ka-Seme district's seat is in De Aar. The region includes other towns such as Colesberg, Prieska and Britstown. De Aar has a high level of unemployment, HIV-Aids and foetal alcohol syndrome.
Scholtz said the implementation of the NHI in this area was in line with government's "10 point plan" for the health sector as well as the national service delivery agreement to overhaul the entire health system and ensure that the government delivered quality healthcare.
Said Scholtz: "It must be understood that this is a lengthy process and citizens will gradually experience positive changes within the health service delivery sector as they visit health facilities and receive healthcare services."
Scholtz could not say when the project would start, but he said the minister was happy with the preparations to have the project rolled out.