NEWS & ANALYSIS

Mkhize’s promises regarding NHI vague and not reassuring – FF Plus

Party says Minister must explain how it will be ensured that NHI does not suffer great financial losses, like Eskom

Mkhize’s promises regarding NHI are vague and not reassuring – FF Plus 

27 August 2019

The promise made by the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, that the National Health Insurance (NHI) will not take the same risks as Eskom is vague and disconcerting. The Minister made this statement during the Hospital Association of South Africa Conference, which is currently taking place in Cape Town.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that such statements not only aim to mislead the public, but that it also does not divulge the whole truth to South Africans. The Minister must explain how it will be ensured that the NHI does not suffer great financial losses, like Eskom, and how the government plans to manage this fund to prevent corruption.

The Minister must take note of the fact that corruption occurred with the police service's medical aid, Polmed, as an amount of R15,7 million was unlawfully allocated to the fund's board of trustees over a period of three years. The board of trustees awarded themselves salary increases.

The NHI will also have a board of trustees which will function in terms of the legislation of the Public Finance Management Act. There exists a very real possibility that this board of trustees will follow in the footsteps Polmed's board of trustees and neither the Minister nor the President can guarantee that corruption will not occur with the NHI.

The FF Plus is convinced that the NHI is just another way in which the ANC government plans to get its hands on taxpayers' money and it is hard to believe that the money will not eventually end up in the pockets of corrupt cadres. The ANC has repeatedly shown that it cannot be trusted with the people's money.

If the government really was concerned about the people's medical wellbeing, it would first have ensured that the country's existing state hospitals and clinics are turned around and upgraded before it came up with the NHI.

Issued by Philip van Staden, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Health, 27 August 2019