Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters vowed on Wednesday to withdraw its MPs from Parliament's medical aid scheme.

“The medical aid scheme is imposed and forced on Members of Parliament regardless of their preferred choices,” said EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“It is based on an illegal apartheid legislation established in 1975 (Medical Aid Schemes Act) and shockingly all members of the democratic Parliament since 1994 have been wilfully compliant with it.”

The new political party said Parliament was unable to explain to its members during an induction workshop this week why the scheme - Parmed - was compulsory.

“The scheme, which will take a minimum of R4 300 from each member of Parliament, is by far one of the most expensive in the country,” Ndlozi said.

“This amount excludes dependants, which means MPs will spend no less than R8 600 depending on the number of dependants.”

The EFF plans to challenge the Act.

“EFF shall put the legislation for review and ensure that no member of Parliament is forced to use the scheme. On the contrary, the principle should be that Members of Parliament, together with the entire Cabinet, should be forced to use public health care over which they preside,” Ndlozi said.

His comments come after EFF leader Julius Malema was quoted in the Star newspaper as saying he would maintain his medical aid and continue sending his son to private school.

On Sunday, Malema told reporters in Cape Town that it made no sense for government to provide services its leaders, from MPs to ministers, were not willing to use.

“We want schools and hospitals to be upgraded... they will never be of (good) quality if MPs are not using them,” he said.

Sapa