The government of the landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho says there is a lot its needs to learn from South Africa's provision of healthcare services.

Lesotho relies on South Africa for tertiary health care. In particular, the tiny kingdom, which is completedly surrounded by South Africa, uses the health infrastructure in South Africa;s Free State Province to achieve that goal.

Lesotho Health Minister Molotsi Monyamane says they will continue to have on-going interactions with their South African counterpart in a bid to improve service delivery. Monyamane says they will study processes followed by South Africa on the much-awaited full implementation of Pretoria's National Health Insurance scheme.

Monyamane adds that the two countries are inseparable when it comes to the provision of health care services. "We train our doctors and nurses in South Africa and we use the Free State public infrastructure for tertiary medicine," he says.

"In Lesotho, primary health care is free, tertiary health care is highly subsidised but we are now very jittery with the introduction of private medicine into the system."

He insists that health care services should be easily accessible to all regardless of social status.

"All health facilities people should be providing accessible, affordable, acceptable, equitable quality health care at all levels," he says.

"I have learnt a lot that we will continue the discussion with the honourable (South African health) minister and honourable MEC (Member of the Executive Council for healthcare of Free State) because we are one people. We believe in a borderless health system."

Meanwhile, the South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, is confident that his department is on the right track for the full implementation of the NHI.

Motsoaledi says the department has commissioned an independent study to assess the progress and test various models for the NHI.

"NHI will be implemented over a period of 14 years, the period in which we are in preparation. We are preparing the clinics in terms of infrastructure, in terms of human resources and equipment."


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