NGV: ‘Medical institutions must now step into the limelight together’


Solidarity made its strongest appeal to both medical professionals and institutions to join the fight against the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI).

During an NGV summit of Solidarity, the impact that the system could have on health services in the country, should the law be ratified, was discussed in depth. The activities of those in medical professions will also be affected on many levels.

Medical institutions and associations were asked to support Solidarity’s planned legal battle against the NGV.

Dr. Dirk Hermann, chief executive of Solidarity, said the consequences of not doing anything about this could be devastating for the medical industry and life-threatening for South Africans.

“The NGV is a reality if it is not stopped by the community. The introduction of the law will have serious consequences for medics in the country. The medical value chain is placed in the hands of the state – a state with a long history of major failure.”

According to Hermann, the answer lies in privatization and not in state centralization. The state is a failure and the community and industries must stand up against the NGV bill.

“The same state that has already destroyed the state hospitals will exercise draconian powers over the entire medical sector under the NGV and its implementation.”

The government has so far shown no interest in listening to institutions, experts and individuals’ input and warnings about the NGV, says Hermann. According to him, however, Solidarity is ready to fight the government in a giant battle in court and believes it is in the best interest of those in the medical industry to support this legal battle.

Anton van der Bijl, deputy chief executive of Solidarity and head of legal affairs, says Solidarity believes the bill is unconstitutional in its entirety.

“It is clear that the NGV will cause substantial tax implications – and in such a case the Constitution stipulates that such a tax implication must be a money bill introduced by Enoch Godongwana, the minister of finance,” says Van der Bijl.

No money bill has been drawn up by the finance minister for the NGV and the questions regarding the effects of the NGV bill on taxation therefore remain unanswered.

Van der Bijl is also of the opinion that any legislation should be accompanied by a proper sustainability study. According to him, the government has not conducted any recent or proper sustainability study regarding the NGV.