DA - Democratic Alliance

04/08/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/08/2024 07:40

SAMA confirms that NHI is unaffordable

SAMA confirms that NHI is unaffordable

Issued by Michele Clarke MP - DA Shadow Minister of Health

08 Apr 2024 in News

The DA commends the South African Medical Association (SAMA) for speaking truth to power when it informed Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, that the South African health system was not ready for the National Health Insurance (NHI). SAMA chair, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa, once again highlighted the fact that the NHI fails to address various challenges such as staff shortage of staff in the public health system, and that as a funding model, the NHI fails to have sufficient staff funding.

The Office of the Health Ombudsman has also been struggling with staff shortages since 2016 and as a result, only 148 of the 307 high and extreme-risk complaints against the Department of Health since 2018 have been resolved.

Furthermore, SAMA and former health ombud, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, raised one of the DA's major concerns with the NHI: governance and corruption. Prof Makgoba raised the issue that the Department of Health did not have competent leaders and managers to lead NHI.

Unfortunately, it's almost certain that Minister Phaahla will be wilfully deaf to the serious concerns raised by these highly qualified and regarded experts - he, as well as his Department and the ANC majority in the parliamentary portfolio committee on health has certainly chosen to ignore the opinions of medical professionals, health experts and stakeholders, opposition parties, and the general public when it comes to the havoc the NHI will cause to the public and private health sectors.

South Africa cannot afford the NHI. The cost to our fiscus, our overburdened taxpayers, our medical professionals, and our patients are simply too high. Continuing to force this immoral bill on the South African public shows that the ANC never cared about our health, our only dwindling pockets.