Solidarity will deliver its comments on the government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) in the National Council of Provinces on Friday. The deadline for comments on the controversial health insurance is today.
Solidarity’s comment on the NGV – which the organization labels as “insane” – states that the plan is not only ill-considered, but also “unaffordable, unworkable and unnecessary”.
The organization further says that the plans are driven by the ANC government’s ideology and hunger for centralist power and that research by the Solidarity Research Institute (SNI) corroborates this view.
- The NGV is unaffordable: According to research by the SNI, the treasury will need an additional R296 billion to make the NGV a reality. For that, people will have to pay significantly more tax – an estimated 40% increase in personal tax for salary earners. The treasury is empty. There is no money for the NGV.
- This NHI is unworkable: The NHI is likely to mean that many doctors who provide private health care services leave the country. There is already a shortage of specialist healthcare workers and the indications are that this shortage will seriously increase. The failure of the public health care system on a smaller scale, as it is currently being experienced, points to failure on a much larger scale should the NGV be adopted.
- The NHI is unnecessary: South Africans already have access to free healthcare and the real need is for this public healthcare system to be maintained and improved. If the necessary resources and energy are devoted to upgrading it, instead of setting up a new system, the quality of public healthcare will improve. Along with this, the efficient private health care system will remain intact for those who choose to use it.
Connie Mulder, head of SNI, says each of these arguments should weigh heavily enough on their own to abandon the NGV.
“Yet the ANC government is deliberately blind to it, because the gathering of votes is more important to it than the lives of South Africans.
“Contrary to how it is sold, the NGV is not going to improve the lives of poor South Africans. On the contrary, it will negatively affect the standard of living of everyone in the country and plunge especially poor South Africans further into misery,” says Mulder.
Solidarity has also warned that it will not allow healthcare to degenerate into “another Eskom, SAL or Transnet” and has already indicated that it will take the government to court if there are no plans to introduce the NHI, apart from does not become