Suicidal NHI Bill rejected – DA NWest

Party particularly concerned that Bill will give ANC govt authority to decide on every aspect of healthcare

DA North West rejects suicidal National Health Insurance Bill

31 January 2020

Following recent public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, it is evident that the implementation of it will destroy the little that is left of the public health sector.

Now, more than ever, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is even more convinced of its shortcomings.

Representatives of the DA across the province, have submitted their misgivings – rejecting it with the contempt that it deserves.

The DA is particularly concerned that the Bill will give the ANC Government the authority to decide on every aspect of healthcare, including the following:

What illnesses will be covered;

Which doctor patients are to see and the costs relating to the visit; and

What treatment patients are in need of and the costs thereof.

Contrary to the NHI Bill, the DA’s Sizani Health Plan will ensure the freedom of patients to seek medical treatment wherever and whenever is necessary, but also guarantee those who cannot afford private medical care to receive efficient, quality treatment.

This Bill does not specify details of payment of medical costs incurred, and is therefore not feasible in the South African context. With an already burdened economy, this project is simply unaffordable.

It is ambiguous in that it does not speak to the current shortage of facilities, equipment and medical professionals nor does it stipulate how the private healthcare industry will fit into this plan.

There is clearly no evidence that NHI will improve the quality of healthcare. It will merely create more unnecessary committees and panels that serve no purpose, which includes a Board of Members. This will equate to more people earning astronomical salaries, only to make room for more corruption and maladministration.

Currently, the North West is faced with a shortage of medical supplies, ambulances and emergency services. The Department of Health is under administration, which further limits the possibilities of this Bill being a success.

After the failure of pilot projects, it would be a gross display of disregard for public funds, should the ANC Government proceed with the implementation of this Bill.

The DA will continue to wage its fight against the NHI Bill. This Bill will not achieve universal healthcare or improve the lives of South Africans. The health industry requires a system overhaul instead of this piecemeal, hole plugging, strategy being used.

Issued by Gavin Edwards, DA North West Spokesperson on Health and Social Development, 31 January 2020