Johannesburg -

The government is seeking to replace private healthcare with National Health Insurance (NHI), the Health Policy Unit of the Free Market Foundation said on Thursday.

“The government is slowly but surely aiming to destroy private healthcare (and) lay the foundation for NHI,” said unit executive director Jason Urbach in Johannesburg.

Urbach said the Treasury's announcement to restrict the availability of “gap” cover medical insurance and hospital income plans was a systemic attack on private healthcare.

Government legislation such as the Medical Schemes Act had not proven effective in increasing healthcare cover in South Africa.

“The proportions of South Africans covered by medical schemes remains static,” said Urbach. - Sapa