The Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, has admitted that the country’s public hospitals and clinics, despite an expenditure of R26 billion, still do not have the standards required for NHI accreditation.
The FF Plus wanted to know from Phaahla if he honestly thinks that the infrastructure at state hospitals and clinics meets the standards required for accreditation for the National Health Insurance (NHI).
Phaahla said that since 2013, a number of grants from the government have been used to finance NGV projects.
He insisted in parliament that the NHS will ensure equal access to health care services for all South Africans.
Phaahla said that although R26 billion had already been spent, R10 billion of that was for the Covid-19 pandemic when the Department of Health was forced to hire more staff.
The minister said it is difficult to project how much will be required for the NGV in the next few years. He added that the money was used for quality standards to meet NGV standards.
Phaahla conceded that he could not say all state facilities meet NHI standards.
According to Philip van Staden, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson on health, clause 39 of the National Health Insurance Bill stipulates that in order to be accredited by the fund to be able to provide a health service, such an institution or facility must be owned by ‘ a certificate from the office for compliance with health standards.
“The FF Plus anticipates that this will also be problematic as the office in question does not have nearly enough inspectors to inspect all facilities, public or private, throughout the country.”
According to Van Staden, the situation confirms the FF Plus’ position of the past four years that the NGV cannot be launched until all infrastructure at state and provincial hospitals and clinics is at least brought up to standard.
“The state wants to prey on the private health care system like parasites with the NGV as its own infrastructure is currently in a complete state of disrepair.
“The amount of R26 billion that has already been spent to get the country’s public health system ready for the NHS has been dumped into a bottomless pit.
“There is no change to be seen in problems such as overdue medical procedures, the appointment of doctors and nurses and the upgrading of infrastructure.
“South Africa is currently sitting on a ticking time bomb and the FF Plus warns that the country’s entire health system could collapse completely if the NGV is placed on the law book.
“Private healthcare will be completely swallowed up by the NHS until there is nothing left for anyone. The ANC is simply too incompetent and dishonest to be trusted with this.”