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NHI is unaffordable for taxpayer – AfriForum writes to govt

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NHI is unaffordable for taxpayer – AfriForum writes to govt

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26th May 2022

By: Thabi Madiba
Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

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Civil rights organisation AfriForum has, once again, criticised the National Health Insurance (NHI) and is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla to reconsider implementing the scheme in South Africa.

On Thursday AfriForum wrote to Ramaphosa and Phaahla arguing that the NHI is unaffordable for taxpayers.

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The civil rights organisation also argued that the centralised health fund will be susceptible to the same failures that have characterised nearly all State-owned entities.

Phaahla tabled the health department’s budget earlier this month, where he announced that his department has budgeted R1.5-billion for NHI infrastructure projects in the coming year.

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Phaahla confirmed that the country has a shortage of doctors and a doctor-to-patient ratio of 0.32 to 100.

“The recent confirmation by the minister of the severe shortages of doctors in South Africa is just another example of why a State-monopoly health sector will be catastrophic. This letter is an attempt to achieve a constructive dialogue with the government vis-à-vis NHI,” said AfriForum campaign officer for strategy and content Reiner Duvenage.

AfriForum said it would continue to oppose the proposed legislation with all the means available to it if it did not receive replies to its letters.

“Our fight against NHI is one of the most important battles on which the very future of this country depends,” he stated.

AfriForum suggested that government should focus on solving pre-existing governance issues in the public health sector.

The civil rights organisation also suggested further expanding and stimulating the private sector to ensure greater competition between medical aid providers, thus allowing the workings of the free market to drive down prices for purchasers.

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