In his State of the National Address (SONA), President Ramaphosa addressed the following health matters:
- There is a need to strengthen healthcare systems and human resources. This includes additional healthcare (56 000) and community health (46 000) workers and a strengthening of the laboratory systems.
- Africa should manufacture its own vaccines. To strengthen Africa’s self-reliance as part of its health sovereignty in responding to pandemics and seemingly in response to the BMJ article, Africa wants to manufacture its own vaccine. This aligns with South Africa localisation efforts with Bivouac and Aspen contract manufacturing, local capacity to manufacture ventilators and other devices, and other initiatives.
- National Health Insurance hearings continue in Parliament with private hospitals and medical funders currently making presentations. Ramaphosa mentioned a patient registry of 56 Million people (though the POPIA parameters for the data collection were not clear).
- New National Health Act Regulations will replace Lockdown Regulations. The Notifiable Medical conditions Regulations has already set out the framework with Ramaphosa alluding to other legislature that could be amended to combat the pandemic.
In the context of the business environment, the President announced the commencement of trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Creating employment was also highlighted and Ramaphosa called on all businesses (large or small) to play their part. Finally, Ramaphosa addressed the Zondo Commissions report of state capture and committed to a plan to implement recommendations by mid-2022.
Originally provided by Elsabe Klinck and Associates