South African National Health Assembly

On 5 and 6 July, the People’s Health Movement (PHM) is hosting the South African National Health Assembly (NHA) in alliance with the National Health Insurance Coalition (NHI).  

With a quadruple health burden and failing health systems there is a health crisis in South Africa. As health workers this is a reality that we are well aware of. The Department of Health has proposed a 10-point plan to transform the health system, one of which is the National Health Insurance. The NHI is in need of civil society engagement and citizen participation. This is a great opportunity to participate and learn and engage around how this process will affect you, your colleagues and our health system. It is also an ideal space to make inputs into how you see the NHI working and to place your best ideas on the table for discussion.

PHM is aiming to facilitate this engagement and re frame the mainstream discussion around the NHI while working to achieve universal coverage in South Africa. 

Who will be attending

Participants will include grassroots activists from communities around South Africa, policy makers, interested citizens, government officials and interested delegates from PHM Global countries (such as India, Thailand and Latin America) who are interested in taking part in the NHA.

Thursday July 5th and on Friday July 6th

The NHA will take place from 9.00 am – 6.00pm on Thursday July 5th and from 8.30 am-1.30pm on Friday July 6th. The opening ceremony for the Global People's Health Assembly 3 begins on the afternoon of the 6th.

University of the Western Cape in Belleville

The National Health Assembly & The People’s Health Assembly will take place at the University of the Western Cape in Belleville, South Africa.


The upcoming National Health Assembly and the Global People's Health Assembly 3 are respectively intended to play a catalytic role in rebuilding, re-energizing and unifying health civil society in South Africa and the broader global health community. Using the proposed NHI as a platform, the National Health Assembly is thus an ideal event from which to build momentum and mobilise civil society engagement in the NHI process and towards universal coverage in South Africa

Overall objective of the NHA

To mobilise a mass movement promoting the right to Health for All and a progressive National Health Insurance.

Specific objectives:

  • Agree on an agenda and priorities for building universal access to quality health care among health activists in South Africa;
  • Build a coalition of health and social justice organisations that can work together towards realizing this agenda;
  • Plan a campaign to realize the agenda and priorities agreed by the NHA
  • Assess plans for the NHI and agree on a way forward to ensure that it realises the fundamental rights to health of all through a progressive Family Medicine approach;
  • Examine specific health issues in SA, including primary care, disability, sexual & reproductive justice and others;
  • Consider ways to assist with the implementation of other aspects of the government’s 10-point plan with particular attention to those areas where civil society has key roles to play.

 Workshop & Plenary sessions:

The length and format of sessions will be approximately 2 hours. Participants will have a choice of which sessions they would like to attend. These will be facilitated by PHM but hosted by partner organisations and groups involved in the NHI Coalition.

National Health Assembly Themes:

  • Social Determinants of Health ( e.g. food, sanitation, water, work conditions)
  • Climate Change
  • Financing for Health (including NHI)
  • Primary Health Care, including human resources for health, rural access (e.g. CHWs & District Health Teams)
  • Migrant/Non-Citizen right to health
  • Indigenous Medicine
  • Legal actions to the 'right to health'
  • Mobilising for Health Action, ie. Coalition building, progressive taxation for health.
  • Reproductive Justice


To register, ask for a registration form, complete it and send to  by June 21st, 2012. 

Registration Fees (Includes Access to Sessions, AGM & Lunch for 2 days):  

Student/Unemployed Rate: R60.00

Standard Fee: R200.00

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