NHI: Insinuations false and malicious - SAPC

Council says Minister's request was not prescriptive and did not detail any consequences

Statement on false and malicious insinuations that the South African Pharmacy Council instructed registered pharmacy professionals to support the National Health Insurance.

16 October 2019

We have noted with concern contextless insinuations by some in society that the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) has instructed pharmacy professionals to pledge support for the National Health Insurance (NHI). Nothing could be further from the truth.

The missing context in the insinuations, which was clearly stated in the said email, is that the request for pledges of support for the NHI was made by the Honourable Minister of Health at the 3rd National Pharmacy Conference on Friday, 4 October in North West.

This request was not prescriptive and did not detail any consequences which will follow if the pledge is not signed.

Pharmacy professionals are aware that, as citizens of this country, they have a constitutional right to participate in the consultation processes of the NHI without undue influence from anyone, including ourselves as a statutory council.

As the proceedings of the National Pharmacy Conference were not recorded appropriately for the NHI public participation process, the Minister requested pledges from delegates who attended the conference and were in support of the NHI. It appears sectors of society who lacked this context were quick to make false public insinuations without initially seeking this clarity.

As the South African Pharmacy Council we reiterate the stance that all pharmacy professionals should actively participate in the democratic process relating to laying the foundation for universal health care in South Africa.

Pharmacy professionals should express themselves on universal healthcare matters independent of any influence, either by ourselves as a statutory council, interest groups and/or any other ideological/political formation.

Issued by the South African Pharmacy Council, 16 October 2019