11 October 2016, gbn.co.za.
AfriBusiness received a letter from the Department of Health indicating that there was an overwhelming commentary response during the National Health Insurance’s (NHI’s) public participation process. The Department is currently working through all these comments and will release a detailed report within three to four months. AfriBusiness hopes that this report will reflect favourably on the concerns that this organisation and other institutions have raised about the problems facing the current NHI model.
In the meantime, it remains uncertain if Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, will address other issues that the NHI faces, such as the effects of the current nationwide student protests on the future of medical students who are nearing the completion of their studies.
Another aspect that should be addressed is details regarding the financing of the NHI and whether or not it remains realistic to expect its complete implementation by 2025.
“AfriBusiness has always made it clear that the organisation is not against the idea of an NHI policy, but that the current model seems to create more problems than solutions. Financing is of great concern and Treasury has made no secret of the fact that it is under immense financial strain. This places the fear that the tax-payer will again be the one who has to fork out the cash to finance Government’s ambitious social development plans,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
The Department of Health should at all costs avoid falling into the same pit as the Department of Education by creating unrealistic ideals and making false promises that could cause another nationwide uproar.
“Thinking of all the conflict surrounding social development in South Africa, I am reminded of the words by Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, who said that socialism was a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue the equal sharing of misery.”