dawie roodt NHI healt care
Dawie Roodt has a solution for SA healthcare. Photo: Stock/Canva

Home » Economist Dawie Roodt suggests healthcare for all of SA without NHI

Economist Dawie Roodt suggests healthcare for all of SA without NHI

Economist Dawie Roodt has proposed a way to provide healthcare for all of SA without the implementation of the NHI.

dawie roodt NHI healt care
Dawie Roodt has a solution for SA healthcare. Photo: Stock/Canva

Renowned economist Dawie Roodt proposed a plan to improve healthcare for all South Africans without implementing National Health Insurance (NHI).


Despite opposition from various experts and role players in the industry, President Ramaphosa signed the NHI Bill in May. Even the Western Cape Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, expressed strong resistance towards the NHI.

Many experts believe that the NHI will not be able to provide healthcare for all of SA due to various obstacles.

Any benefits that the NHI may offer, will only be available in a few years’ time. People who want to make use of the NHI will have to wait at least another four years before being able to access private healthcare through the NHI.

Dawie Roodt, nationally renowned economist, identified three main reasons why he believes the government will never fully implement the NHI:

  • finances – the NHI will cost SA between R200 billion and R600 billion annually, money that is not in the budget.
  • legal challenges – there are many legal problems surrounding the NHI legislation
  • ineffective implementation

“I don’t think it’s going to happen – or at the very least, not the way people think it will happen.”

Dawie Roodt


According to Roodt, total privatisation is the only way to provide good quality universal healthcare for all of SA.

His solution for healthcare for all of SA, is twofold. Firstly, he suggests that the government should use the state money spent on healthcare to create three medical aids that will function like any private medical aid scheme. Secondly, he proposes that the barrier of entry for private healthcare should be lower.


Roodt suggests that the government should divide the Department of Health into three parts. It should then transform these into medical aid companies. The state’s healthcare budget, currently being used to support struggling or dysfunctional hospitals and clinics, should instead be used to fund these state medical aids.

Furthermore, Dawie Roodt believes that there should be a law requiring all South Africans to have medical aid. Those without medical aid should be automatically enrolled in one of the three state medical aid schemes.

People who do not have funds in their medical aid to cover a procedure can visit a university hospital. This would create a win-win situation. The patient receives healthcare covered by the government. Additionally, the person gives back to the community by giving students a learning opportunity.


The second part of Roodt’s plan is to make private healthcare more accessible.

“The private healthcare sector in South Africa has far too much protection. It is a bunch of clicks who make a tremendous amount of money.”

Dawie Roodt

Roodt proposes that SA must lower the ‘entry requirements’ to allow more people to enter the private healthcare system. He stated that we have to accept that we are a poor country and that it is not possible for many to afford the high levels of private healthcare.

Although he thinks that high-quality care at high prices cannot be eliminated, Dawie Roodt believes that there should be room for lower-quality healthcare at lower prices. He stated that a simple way to start this process is by removing the requirement for a doctor’s prescription for certain medicines.

Currently, people must visit a doctor, which can be expensive, in order to access a wide range of medicines.

Roodt argues that people should be able to take responsibility for their own health by visiting a pharmacist and buying the medicine they feel they need.

What is your opinion on what Dawie Roodt is suggesting? Let us know by commenting below.