NHI: Your health does not belong in the hands of an inept state

AfriForum condemns the government’s continual misleading of the public about the feasibility of National Health Insurance (NHI) and will continue to oppose the implementation of this legislation. The period for submitting comments on the NHI Bill closes tomorrow.

AfriForum has opposed the process since the government announced that it would implement NHI – not because the organisation is opposed to quality healthcare for all, but because the ANC is too incompetent to provide just that. Furthermore, citizenry should become less dependent on the state, not more so, and NHI will in effect place people’s lives in the hands of the state.

“The ANC persists in singing the praises of NHI and promising that the state is the only vehicle for providing quality healthcare for everyone in the country. This is simply not true – according to an AfriForum report the government completely failed to consider other suggestions from the public or role-players in the sector regarding the provision of healthcare. This raises questions as to whether this is just another smokescreen to lay hands on taxpayers’ money, because tax will have to be increased to fund this scheme,” says Natasha Venter, Spokesperson for NHI at AfriForum.

The Auditor General’s 2018/2019 audit outcomes for the national and provincial government were recently released. This determines that almost R67 billion was wasted by government in a single year, of which R4,16 billion was fruitless and wasteful. According to the ANC’s presentation on NHI, the public, however, need not be concerned by corruption and misappropriation, because the NHI fund will:

  1. Report to parliament on an annual basis;
  2. Establish a risk engine to mitigate against fraudulent activities; and
  3. Be overseen by the Health Sector Anti-corruption Unit.

“These meagre ‘precautionary measures’ are hardly reassuring. South African Airways (SAA) for example must also submit reports to parliament annually and this has done nothing to prevent the widespread corruption in this state-owned entity. AfriForum also laid criminal charges for misappropriation against the Heads of the Provincial Health Departments in this year and the previous year, and no-one has been held accountable to date – this cows confidence in the criminal justice system to hold state officials to account,” Venter continues.

AfriForum encourages the public to visit www.afriforum.co.za/en/divisions/campaigns/national-health-insurance/ to send their comments to parliament and also to give the civil rights organisation their mandate to oppose this destructive bill.

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