AfriForum today requested a meeting with Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health, to highlight the civil rights organisation’s objections and concerns regarding government’s planned National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. One of these concerns includes that the implementation of NHI can lead to the downgrade of the country’s investment status to junk.
AfriForum has more than 235 000 members and therefore has a substantial interest in policies such as NHI. The civil rights organisation has been campaigning against NHI ever since government first announced its NHI plan in order to properly inform people of the potential potholes that it contains. One of these potential potholes is that the downgrade to junk status (to which the implementation of NHI can lead, seeing as it will require huge amounts to be funded) can undermine people’s chances of economic success by reducing salaries or by leading to further job losses.
The problem with one health system for everyone is furthermore that only 8,3% of people (taxpayers) will be expected to pay for the entire country’s health care. The Department of Health is year after year one of the departments with the poorest audits and the taxpayer cannot afford a tax increase to merely fund yet another government policy (that is doomed to fail).
“It is furthermore concerning to AfriForum that the Department of Health is failing to take notice of any objections that are being raised against this policy. That is why we are intending on getting answers from the Department during this meeting on how they are planning to handle AfriForum’s concerns regarding NHI, among others, and to demand that they pay attention to our warnings regarding the unfeasibility of this scheme,” says Natasha Venter, AfriForum’s Spokesperson for NHI.
AfriForum’s request follows after the civil rights organisation sent a letter to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Mkhize on 22 November 2019 to warn them that the implementation of NHI can lead to the downgrade of the country’s investment status to junk.
AfriForum has also already submitted two reports as commentary against the NHI bill at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health.