NEWS & ANALYSIS

American NGO should retract NHI award given to Ramaphosa – AfriForum

Organisation says it disclosed the state of and facts regarding healthcare in SA to The Access Challenge

AfriForum requests American NGO to retract NHI award given to Ramaphosa 

9 October 2019

AfriForum today sent a letter to the New York-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) The Access Challenge. The civil rights organisation requests in the letter that the NGO retracts its award for universal healthcare given to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa for moving to implement National Health Insurance (NHI), and also disclosed the facts regarding healthcare in the country.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize accepted this award in September on behalf of Ramaphosa in New York. AfriForum makes it clear in the letter that the organisation does not oppose quality healthcare for all, but that the NHI is not the solution to the country’s health problems. “It is important that the international community takes cognisance of the true state of South Africa’s healthcare and not be fooled by the ANC into applauding the implementation of NHI. The government simply refuses to walk the golden middle ground between private and state healthcare systems – which could ultimately lead to better healthcare for everyone in the country. The political will to actually turn around the healthcare system is however missing,” says Natasha Venter, AfriForum’s Spokesperson for NHI.

The government is, according to Venter, also primarily responsible for the increase in private medical costs the past couple of years. “It is disingenuous of government to claim that NHI is necessary due to the high cost of private healthcare when the regulatory frameworks imposed by the state on the private healthcare system is the primary cause thereof.”

AfriForum also states in the letter that corruption and the misappropriation of funds in the state healthcare system is rampant and that the Department cannot be trusted with more taxpayers’ money. “The government’s own anti-corruption unit for health also recently announced that the Department of Health annually loses more than R22 billion due to corruption and fraud. Yet the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decides in the same month not to prosecute any government official for the Life Esidimeni tragedy. This promotes unaccountability in this Department that already has such a poor track record.”

AfriForum encourages the public to submit comments against NHI to the portfolio committee for health by visiting https://www.afriforum.co.za/en/divisions/campaigns/national-health-insurance/.

Issued by Carina Bester, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 9 October 2019