NHI: ANC acts irrationally, irresponsibly – Solidarity

Morne Malan says there is virtually no chance that this version would offer a significant improvement

Controversial NHI plan: ANC acts irrationally, irresponsibly

12 July 2019

Solidarity today strongly condemned the adoption of the controversial National Health Insurance plan by the Cabinet, and said that the government clearly only wants to achieve an ideological victory even if it is at the expense of South African’s lives.

Morné Malan, senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), said that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s comments that the time for discussions, analysis and diagnosis was over and that we should go ahead with the implementation, are irresponsible and that the NHI is heading for disaster. “I can understand why the minister would want us to stop analysing, because every economic analysis, every failed pilot project and discussion only reveal more shortcomings that would hamper the system, and are further indications that the NHI simply is not viable.”

Solidarity emphasises that the NHI is not merely an inadequate step in the right direction; on the contrary, it actually represents a drastic and very real step in the wrong direction. “The status quo can be improved upon but even the current state of affairs would be more desirable to most South Africans than to monopolise health in the hands of the state,” Malan explained.

Solidarity wants to state its scepticism about the amended version of the bill, and it doubts government’s willingness to confess to any of the extremely detrimental aspects of the initial bill.

Looking at the feedback coming from all quarters, spanning the Treasury, the business sector at large (such as banks, insurance companies, Chamber of Commerce, mining houses, auditing firms and even including medical aid schemes and administrators), the pharmaceutical industry, private hospital groups as well as organised labour and from various think tanks, among so many others, then one cannot but reach the conclusion that a total revision or a rejection of the proposal is called for. There is virtually no chance that this version would offer a significant improvement. We also see it in government’s unwillingness to engage with reasonable analysis and its pressing on with the bill, regardless of the consequences for ordinary South Africans,” Malan concluded.

Issued by Morné Malan, Senior Researcher: Solidarity Research Institute, 12 July 2019