AfriForum has announced that this civil rights organisation will submit comments on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill within the next three months. The Bill was published today in the Government Gazette, and it has the ultimate goal of purchasing health services on behalf of the public and providing universal health cover.
Dr Eugene Brink, strategic advisor for community affairs at AfriForum, says there are many unanswered questions and gaps in the bill.
‘The first question concerns costs, because without funding, the proposal cannot meet the demands. The Bill says almost nothing about this, and AfriForum will investigate the matter further before commenting.”
According to Brink, the NHI Bill is based on wishful thinking and will not only cause the health system to collapse but also the economy.
“With the South African economy struggling and not enough rich people to support the poor, it can lead to an exodus of the middle class and wealthy, which will cause the whole plan to collapse. The country cannot afford that.”
Brink says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s attack on the private industry is hypocritical because the state intends to buy services from the private sector.
“Although the minister accuses the private sector of extremely inflated costs, he wants to use their services to compensate for the mess in the public health sector. This plan is likely to drag the private health industry down to the current level of the public health sector.”