SACP strongly supports quality health care for all, and welcomes the release of the National Health Insurance Bill for public comment
21 June 2018
The South African Communist Party today welcomes the release of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill intended to strengthen and unify our health system and guarantee comprehensive quality health care coverage for all. The NHI must equalise access to quality health care and therefore eliminate inequalities in health provision. This must be the bottom line.
South Africa has enough financial and other resources to provide good quality health care for all, yet the health care outcomes in terms of the burden of diseases and mortality rates have been disappointing. The root causes of the problem lie in our fragmented, and therefore wasteful, and unequal multi-tiered health system, particularly in health care funding and access to quality health care provision.
The NHI Bill is founded on the core principles of universality and social solidarity. The Bill makes an important and bold advance to ensure that access to quality health care is based on need rather than on one’s ability to pay. This process of transformation in health care provision seeks to remove financial barriers to access. This means after the NHI is successfully implemented, our people will no longer need to worry about making direct out-of-pocket or own account payment in order to gain access to quality health care.
The current situation where South Africa is the world’s most unequal country in terms of access to quality health care is unacceptable. Right-wing think tanks such as the Free Market Foundation, the “South African Institute of Race Relations” and the party of the bosses, the “Democratic Alliance” and their ilk are pushing for the expansion of the discriminatory, profit motivated, market-driven health care financing dominated by medical aid schemes and private monopoly interests. This will worsen inequalities and fragmentation in access to quality care and move South Africa further away from universal quality health coverage.