R30 billion for National Health Insurance (NHI) can be put to better use
17 July 2019
The amount of R30 billion that was earmarked for launching the useless National Health Insurance (NHI) plan, can be put to better use elsewhere.
The FF Plus is of the opinion that the money should rather be used to improve security, to purchase new and maintain existing equipment at hospitals and clinics and to upgrade the dilapidated infrastructure at state health care institutions. It can also be used to address the serious shortage of medication at these institutions by replenishing stock.
The FF Plus strongly condemns the incident that took place at a hospital in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal where a patient passed away after he was attacked by another patient.
It clearly proves that the FF Plus was right when it stated during last Friday's debate on health care in Parliament, that the country's health care system is in chaos and that security at state hospitals is so poor and inadequate that the lives of patients, students, doctors and nurses are in danger.
The FF Plus hardly spoke those words when the tragic incident transpired at the Ngwelezane Hospital. The patient was attacked in his sleep.
The national government must learn to prioritise and not send so-called NHI managers overseas on training courses or have people trained as nurses and doctors in Cuba so that they can come and work in our state hospitals.
The FF Plus is also worried about the fact that the government wants to implement a system that may work in other countries, but that will not necessarily work in South Africa. The country's health care system may take a serious blow when the NHI is implemented.
Medical professionals will leave the country and South Africa simply cannot afford that. The medical personnel who work long hours every day to treat patients will not necessarily want to do it under the NHI system.
It is disturbing that the government does not want to heed any warnings. It may cause the Department of Health to sink even deeper into the pit of disorder and lack of service delivery.
It is time for the government to wake up and realise that it is better to let go of a useless plan than to stubbornly proceed with its implementation. Human lives are worth much more than a useless plan.
Issued by Philip van Staden, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Health, 17 July 2019