This case traces the development of national health insurance (NHI) in South Africa under Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. After providing background on health financing and health insurance policy in South Africa, the case explores Motsoaledi’s approach to realizing universal health coverage by establishing a government-administered NHI system and overhauling primary health care in the public sector. The case highlights the importance of strategic communication and stakeholder engagement in the highly political process of health system reform. It focuses on the complexity of the NHI policy process and the steps Motsoaledi and his team took to increase standards and accountability for public primary health care facilities. It concludes with the national health department rolling out new tools for monitoring facility progress and Motsoaledi awaiting approval of his team’s 19th draft plan for NHI, wondering what to do in the meantime to improve health care.
Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.
National Department of Health, South Africa (Source: Global Health Delivery case writers)
Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the relationship between policy development, financing, and implementation of public health care delivery; the complexity of implementing standards and accountability for primary care infrastructure; and the work and negotiation needed to build consensus among private and public payers and providers with competing financial interests to generate greater value in health care delivery.
Keywords: Political leadership, health system strengthening, stakeholder engagement, primary health care reform, policy development, politics and health care, health care financing, health insurance, strategy