Dr Aquina Thulare

Technical Advisor


MBChB, BSc (Honours) Reproductive Medicine, MBA and Master of Management in Public Policy

Her primary training is that of a medical practitioner and a clinician. However, since 2001, she moved into public policy management and health economics.  It was in 2009 that she joined the National Department of Health where she has held the position of Technical Specialist on Health Economics for the National Health Insurance (NHI) in the National Department of Health. In this position she has been part of the collective effort in the areas of NHI policy and legislative development, health financing and health economics, as well as the development of institutional arrangements for the NHI Fund. At the inception of the development of NHI, she supported the activities undertaken by the various Ministerial Advisory Committees on NHI to shape the NHI Policy since their appointment in 2009. It was during this period that extensive international benchmarking was undertaken to gain insights of how other countries had progressed in the health systems reforms and to shape a model that would be appropriate for the South African context.

Her other responsibilities include policy coherence with other legislative and regulatory instruments, that must be aligned with the major goal of overhauling and transforming the health system towards Universal Health Coverage. To that effect, she has been representing the Department of Health at various structures including at the Regulator of Medical Schemes, the Council for Medical Scheme with the purpose of ensuring that coherence is maintained with the envisaged changes that will be brought about by NHI.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic she diligently represented the Department of Health at the National Joints Operations and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) to provide technical support to the activities of the National Covid-19 Coordinating Committee (NCCC).

She represents the Department at a Technical Level on various multi-lateral platforms pursuing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) including the World Health Organisation’s UHC programmes – such as UHC2030 International Health Partnership (IHP +) Task Force and Steering Committee, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body WHO CA+ (Pandemic Treaty Negotiations); BRICS and the G20’s Health Working Group and the Joint Finance and Health Task Force to name some.

Prior to joining the Department of Health, she was the Secretary-General and CEO of the South African Medical Association. It is in this capacity that she was immersed in activities of trade unionism. As a trade unionist she got immersed in the drive for meaningful transformation of the health system to achieve universal health coverage through the implementation of NHI and participated in various structures of the Trade Union movement, shaping the posture that they have adopted towards NHI.

Deputy Director General:
National Health Insurance

Professor Nicholas Crisp

Chief Director:
User and Service Provider Management

Dr Grace Labadarios

Chief Director:
Health Care Benefits and Provider Management

Mr Moremi Nkosi

Chief Director:
Health Products Procurement

Ms Khadija Jamaloodien

Chief Director:
Health Systems Digital Information

Ms Milani Wolmarans

Chief Director:
Risk and Fraud Management