NHI: Ramaphosa’s last revenge on voters

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP

The DA takes note of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ominous promise at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he “is looking for his pen” to sign the destructive National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

While the DA supports the principle of universal health care, as well as universal access to health care, we will never support the NHI Bill, which is fundamentally flawed and will further erode the public health system – already on its last legs – while also collapsing the private health sector.

The NHI Bill has always been nothing more than an ANC electioneering tool – one the governing party has never been able to figure out on paper, never mind practically implementing it without causing untold suffering to all South Africans unable to commandeer flights at the tax payers’ expense to the country of their choosing for medical treatment.

Any reform will be futile if government does not address failures in governance. In fact, it is these very failures that have led to declining access to quality healthcare in South Africa.

Reforms need to be focused on addressing governance challenges by rooting out corruption and ineptitude. The limited budget must be spent on filling vacancies, upgrading and maintaining health facilities, fixing broken equipment and buying new ones, preventing medicine and supply stockouts, and eradicating surgery backlogs. The NHI will not solve any of the core problems plaguing the health sector.

The DA is committed to universal healthcare for all citizens, but the key to achieving this is to build on existing capacity and improve coordination between both public and private sectors. We need to focus on making the current district management model work through governance reform. Overhauling the entire health system, as the NHI intends, without addressing the root causes of failure will result in collapsing both the private and public health systems to the detriment of every South African.

Our health system does not have easy access to unlimited funds in the hands of a party that has become synonymous with corruption, ineptitude, and cadre deployment. It does not need the influx of approximately 10 million people on a system that is already struggling (and often failing) to provide quality medical care.

The NHI Bill is financially irresponsible and ultimately unfundable. It is not the answer to South Africa’s public health sector. The answer is something the ANC government cannot provide, because it does not exist with that party anymore – responsible management of limited resources and putting the well-being of the people of South Africa before any self-interest.

The only way to save South Africa’s health sectors is to revoke the ANC’s unfettered access to the coffers and vote them out in the coming elections.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za