The NHI will be the death of us

David Bullard on his hopes that Dr Crisp's masterplan to obliterate the medical profession will come to nought


New year greetings to you all. Thank you for the many kind messages ahead of the festive season and may I wish you all a bountiful 2024. It certainly isn’t going to be politically boring and that applies whether you live in the US, the UK, SA or any of the other 60+ countries who are holding elections this year. Our staunch ally Vlad Putin is standing for

re-election yet again in March apparently and, demockracy being what it is in mother Russia, is expected to pass the finishing post well ahead of his rivals (who will probably be sojourning in Siberia before too long).

This will bring great joy and hope to the ragbag collection of incompetent commies who are clinging on to power here in South Africa. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

The UK and US elections are harder to predict but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that the Tories will be trounced in the UK in a late summer election but the jury is still out on the US election later in the year. Since senile dementia doesn’t seem to be a disqualifying factor in American politics then the chances of the world’s policeman electing yet another confused geriatric are pretty high. Unless, of course, the DEI rules that governed Harvard University are applied in which case the field is wide open for a single parent, whale loving, one legged, vegan, black, trans-woman lesbian to be elected to the Presidency. 

Back here in SA of course it is anyone’s guess what could happen but, as I have written many times before, I can’t imagine the ANC handing over power to whoever wins with the words “It was a fair fight, Best of luck with sorting out all the mess we’ve managed to create over the past thirty years”. Think ZANU-PF. The ANC, just like any other self respecting criminal enterprise, will want to extract whatever else it can from the sickly body politic of South Africa.

The big prize is the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scam which falls under Comrade Nicholas Crisp who can be a bit churlish when it comes to dealing with those who express doubts about the proposed NHI. Comrade Nick has been very critical of those who are questioning the wisdom of allowing a kleptocratic government to embark on a project to provide all of South Africa’s citizens with free quality healthcare.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming evidence suggests that the ANC government couldn’t be trusted to run a Spaza shop without cocking it up. Their track record speaks for itself; if you can’t run something as simple as a pre-existing railway network then what hope do you have of running something as complex and sophisticated as a national health programme? Not even the oppressive colonialist Poms have had much luck with that.

Cde Nick though, like all loyal party members, is adamant that it would all be hunky-dory and dismisses critics as privileged spoilers. He doesn’t seem in the least bit bothered by valid arguments that what the state already administers within the public health system already falls horribly short of what is acceptable. The many reports of non-functional hospitals, unpaid electricity bills, poor maintenance, corruption, rigged tenders for essential supplies and, even worse, low staff morale don’t seem to concern Cde Crisp in the least.

As a so-called ‘privileged spoiler’ I confess to hoping that the whole NHI monster, assuming it is signed into law by the Frogboiler, will creep off and die in a corner. No disrespect meant to Cde Crisp. While I think that a beautifully functioning National Health system with expert medical treatment and superb cradle to the grave care for all would be wonderful I think it is about as likely as providing a decent home with running water and electricity for every SA citizen. Or even the relatively simple challenge of opening up the economy and creating a paying job for the majority of SA citizens. How difficult can that be? And yet it seems way beyond the capabilities of cabinet ministers who are living the high life with multi-million rand salaries plus perks worth at least that amount again.

My ‘privilege’ is fairly simple to explain. I realised years ago that my chances of survival in a public hospital weren’t too great so I joined a medical aid scheme. This came in particularly useful when I was shot in 2007 and admitted to Milpark Hospital. After I was discharged I phoned the boss at Discovery Health and was told that the cost of my treatment and three days in ICU was the equivalent of a heart bypass operation. I paid not a cent. So I have been a big fan of private healthcare ever since.

The point frequently lost on our commie leaders (who will fly off to Singapore without hesitation for private medical care) is that by paying a large chunk of my after tax income every month for private healthcare (over and above what I have already paid in taxes for public healthcare) I have done one important thing. I have voluntarily removed myself from the long queue of fellow citizens seeking free medical care. Instead of being stained with the label ‘privilege’ the likes of Cde Crisp should be showering me with praise and labeling me ‘selfless’; although that probably wouldn’t work as far as the commie playbook of always having someone to blame goes.

As I approach life’s exit ramp I am particularly keen to hang on to private medical care at all costs. Part of the reason for my decision to move to Somerset West ten years ago was the abundance of well equipped private hospitals and superb medical specialists, many of whom had moved here from other parts of South Africa for the superior quality of living.

Some of the local practices are fully booked from November to March as swallows and foreign visitors book appointments which cost them a fraction of what it would cost back in the US or Europe. My family in the UK still can’t get over the fact that I can have a face to face twenty-minute consultation with my GP at fairly short notice. Understandably, I would hate to give this up and am quite prepared to bear the cost of being ‘privileged’.

What Cde Crisp and his fellow commies seem not to understand is that the proposed NHI is doomed from the get-go. Every medical specialist I have spoken to on the topic has the same answer. If NHI is forced upon us the younger ones will emigrate to greener pastures where their talents are appreciated and the older ones would rather shut up shop than be told when to work, where to work and how much to charge by a discredited ruling party.

A ruling party incidentally who can’t even manage to place newly qualified doctors in their compulsory two-year internship and not for the first time. Obviously the ANC has a plan to counter these objections. They will reduce the time required to become a medical doctor and drop the pass mark. So don’t act surprised when your left leg is amputated as part of your treatment for bowel cancer.

NHI has the words ‘yet another ANC shit-show’ writ large all over it. My fervent hope is that it is repeatedly challenged in the courts or that it proves financially impossible to implement. I just need another ten years delay (by which time I will be too gaga to care) and then you youngsters must make your own plans. However, in the pursuit of equality one cannot fault Cde Crisp and his commie ANC paymasters. If NHI does become a reality expect it to deliver an equally terrible service to every citizen, irrespective of race or class.