Solidarity launches PAIA application regarding NHI
18 October 2021
Solidarity announced today that it has launched an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) in connection with the controversial remarks made by the Health Department’s Deputy Director-General, Dr Nicolas Crisp. This came after Dr Crisp stated on 30 August that the National Health Insurance (NHI) would come into effect by the end of the year.
Following these comments, Solidarity addressed a legal letter to Dr Crisp in September this year, but he did not respond. Solidarity says it is therefore compelled to take more serious legal steps as this is causing major uncertainty among its members in the healthcare sector and elsewhere.
“It is extremely irresponsible of a civil servant to make such statements while we are still in the middle of a public participation process. This indicates that the government is contemptuous of these processes and merely tries to steamroller these policies,” Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), said. “In addition, we have no information regarding the effect of implementing the NHI. What would this mean for members of medical aid funds? What would this mean for healthcare workers? How would this differ from the current state of affairs? The department has simply not given any indication of what this would mean for South Africans, despite the fact that health is something that directly affects every single person.”
Solidarity furthermore argues that research by the SNI has already indicated significant shortcomings in the proposed systems.