AfriForum ready to submit comments on destructive NHI bill

AfriForum is ready to submit comments on the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill as soon as the period for public comment is opened. The civil rights organisation has opposed this socialist plan of the ANC since the announcement thereof.

Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health, recently gave feedback on various pilot projects of the NHI Plan. According to a report the pilot projects of R4,9 billion were set up without a clear framework for the monitoring and evaluation thereof. Yet Mkhize forges ahead with the NHI, which, according to him, will come into effect before March 2020.

Mkhize furthermore stated with regard to the pilot projects that if something does not work, they will try something else. Notwithstanding, they are forging ahead with it [the NHI]. According to a study done by AfriForum the NHI could cost taxpayers more than R446,8 billion per year and not R30 billion as stated by Mkhize.

“Mkhize’s attitude about wasting taxpayers’ money to simply ‘try something else’ is very blasé. He wants to forge ahead with this bill with all might. It however remains a mystery to AfriForum as to why any modern-day government would want to replicate such a universally failed system. Considering the magnitude of the changes proposed by the NHI bill it is grossly negligent to avoid an accurate understanding of costs while still proceeding with its implementation,” says Natasha Venter, Campaign Officer at AfriForum.

Even more concerning is Mkhize’s statements that South Africans under the new NHI dispensation will not have the right to see a specialist or go for an MRI simply because they have money. Everyone should have equal access to specialist services according to Mkhize. “But, what this will in effect mean is that the state will be able to decide what treatment you need, who should provide it and where you should be treated. Practical implications of this could include for example that the state would be able to decide who a woman’s gynaecologist should be and where and through which method her child should be born, or which cancer treatment a patient should receive.”

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said during his address at the signing of the Presidential Health Compact that the goal is to have one health system for one country. According to him this means that everyone will have the same quality of health care. Furthermore one health system will, according to Ramaphosa, mean that hospitals, clinics and doctors’ rooms are appropriately staffed and resourced.

“The ANC promises a health utopia for impoverished people in society. This while the Department of Health scores one of the worst audits of all departments year after year. The problem with one health system for everyone is further that only 8,3% of all the people (taxpayers) will be expected to pay for the entire country’s health care. AfriForum will continue to oppose this destructive bill,” concludes Venter.

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